WASHINGTON (AP) — Middle-of-the-order batters Juan Soto and Howie Kendrick finally joined the Washington Nationals for “summer camp” and played in an intrasquad scrimmage Thursday night, after missing nearly two weeks of workouts.
While the Nationals never explicitly announced why the key players were absent for the ramp-up to the regular season, there is a city rule mandating that anyone coming into contact with someone who had the coronavirus needed to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Still missing: starting center fielder Victor Robles.
Kendrick, an infielder and possible DH who was the MVP of Washington’s NL Championship Series sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals last season, and Soto, the starting left fielder and breakout star of the team’s run to the 2019 World Series title, each went to the plate in each inning in the early going Thursday.
Kendrick was in the No. 3 spot in the top half of innings, and he singled off lefty starter Patrick Corbin in the first.