Some players in Padres summer camp have chosen to wear a mask, and reliever Matt Strahm took to Twitter to explain why he’s doing it.
One of the more interesting things to monitor as teams around the league adjust to the first-ever Summer Camp, and particularly on the Padres, is how many players are wearing masks during team workouts. Fernando Tatis Jr. has somehow made wearing a mask look cool, and reliever Matt Strahm has made a concerted effort in wearing a mask wherever possible.
He responded to a commenter on the Padres Twitter post of him wearing a mask with exactly why he’s doing it:
With many players in the league having wives that are pregnant or have recently given birth, that, alone, has been a big reason why guys like Buster Posey have opted out. Posey and his wife recently adopted new-born twins and therefore didn’t feel that he should be playing.
And with many regions like California, Arizona, Florida, and Texas being local hot spots for the coronavirus right now, this is a smart move on Strahm’s part, who, aside from the safety aspect, is going to be a significant factor in the Padres’ bullpen this year.
Strahm played the swingman role last year, making 46 appearances – including 16 starts – while striking out 9.3 batters-per-nine innings. He pitched the first two months from the rotation, but he proved to be more effective in the bullpen, with a 10.1 K/9 and walking just five batters in 33.0 innings of work.
We recently discussed the notion of MacKenzie Gore potentially sliding into the Strahm-role this year, with the former possibly being utilized for just one inning. Last year, Strahm was highly-effective in the sixth and seventh innings, posting a 2.45 and 2.79 ERA, respectively.
An ode to Matt Strahm here, but please wear a mask if going out in public. Dodgers’ closer Kenley Jansen, who has an underlying heart condition, described his experience with COVID-19, “It is real. Everyone in the world — just take it serious. Wear your mask. Trust me, it happened so fast.”