Dwight Smith Jr., until yesterday, was the only player not to report to Orioles camp. Now, everyone knows the reason why.
Smith said he tested positive for COVID-19, the second player in the organization to announce so. Earlier this week, Anthony Santander confirmed his absence was related to testing positive for coronavirus.
“I came back, I tested positive for COVID-19,” Smith said on a conference call with reporters on Saturday. “I had to run a lot of tests to make sure everything was running well with my body and also keep my distance from everybody in this locker room. So, we all have to do our part and make sure before I even step foot into this facility. I feel great now and I’m ready to get ready for the season.”
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Smith was expected to step into a bigger role than was expected this season, as Trey Mancini won’t be with the club this year while he battles colon cancer.
Now, Smith will have a limited amount of time to prepare for the Orioles’ first game of the season against the Red Sox on July 24.
“I missed like a week of Spring Training last year, so I feel like I know how to get my body ready in enough time for this moment,” Smith said. “Last year kind of prepared me for this year, too.”
Smith slashed .241/.297/.412 last season in 101 games played last year, his first with the Orioles. He had 13 home runs and 53 RBIs as well.
But Smith’s start to the 2020 season was up in the air, as his positive test threw doubt onto what the start of the 60-game season could look like for the second-year Oriole.
“It was kind of alarming, I really didn’t have symptoms,” Smith said. “All symptoms that were thrown out there, I didn’t lose taste or smell, my fever never reached over 100 (degrees), I felt pretty normal. I felt like it was like a common cold. If anything, I felt sick for a couple days. But other than that, I didn’t feel no symptoms. I felt normal. Everybody around me was healthy, my family was fine, cause I was around them.”
He credited wearing a mask with keeping the spread of the disease down, and not passing it on to family members.
“I wore my mask, I always wore my mask, so I think that helped prevent the spread to anyone else around me,” Smith said. “I think that’s a big key to keeping this thin intact and not spreading it. If everybody wears their mask, I think we’ll be much better off.”
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Orioles outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. said he tested positive for COVID-19 originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington