Budding superstar Juan Soto has once again tested positive for COVID-19, with this test coming just hours before the Nationals began their season.
This was expected to be the year that Juan Soto emerged as a true superstar for the Washington Nationals. He had his coming out party during the 2019 postseason, belting homers and enjoying his turn on the biggest stage of all. While his antics may have irked old-school fans, he was a breath of fresh air in the game.
Unfortunately, Soto’s trek to stardom has hit a road bump. He has tested positive for COVID-19 once again, and must return to quarantine.
This is a major blow for the Nationals in their quest to repeat as World Series champions. Soto will need to have consecutive negative tests before he returns to the lineup. Fortunately, he is asymptomatic, leading to the hope that he will return sooner rather than later.
Soto had been in quarantine earlier in summer camp, as he and fellow outfielder Victor Robles had been exposed to someone that tested positive for the coronavirus. He had returned exactly a week ago, ramping up quickly to be ready in time for Opening Day.
His absence creates a major hole in the lineup. Soto had produced an impressive .282/.401/.548 batting line with 32 homers, 34 doubles, and 12 steals. He showed an excellent eye at the plate, drawing 101 walks with just 132 strikeouts in 659 plate appearances. His 4.6 WAR trailed only Anthony Rendon amongst members of the Washington lineup.
In his place, the Nationals will be rotating through outfielders. Michael Taylor will likely get the first crack and carving out a role in the lineup, with Andrew Stevenson and Emilio Bonifacio also getting a look. Nonetheless, the Nationals will want their emerging superstar back as soon as possible, especially as they cannot afford not to be at full strength with the short season.
The Washington Nationals have already received a tough blow with Juan Soto testing positive for COVID-19 and being sidelined once again. Hopefully, he will be back before long.