The 2020 season is a significant one for Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman, who is expected to hit free agency this winter, but like many others around the league, Stroman recognizes there is a great deal of uncertainty.
Opening Day is a week from Thursday, but concerns about COVID-19 remain high as players continue to test positive while others decide to opt out on the season.
“I think everyone deep down has concerns,” he told reporters on Sunday. “There’s a pandemic going on right now.”
Stroman’s words echo concerns around the league from several other players, such as Cardinals reliever Andrew Miller, who last week raised doubts about the 2020 season.
There were 58 positive COVID-19 tests among players as part of MLB’s intake testing, while 13 players have tested positive since workouts began, according data released by MLB on Friday.
On Saturday, across town from the Mets, Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman was among those who tested positive.
Yet, Stroman’s focus is still on the field as he stressed about “being in the moment.”
“I’m going to compete to the highest level every single day, regardless of how I feel,” he said.
The Mets traded for the Long Island native at the trade deadline last year, going 4-2 with a 3.77 ERA in 11 starts.
The 29-year-old right-hander will only get 11-12 starts again with the Mets this year in an abbreviated season, with many other teams watching before he becomes a free agent at season’s end.
“I think I should be one of the top arms,” Stroman said. “I think I’m one of the youngest. I’m extremely healthy. I’m coming off a great year. So however it plays out, it will play out.”