“The Versatility Component” Plus More From Friday’s Summer Camp

We are officially into the final weekend prior to the games that count. All that’s left for the Dodgers before the season starts is a team workout today and three exhibition games Sunday-Tuesday. Here are your Dodgers news and notes from Friday.

Outfielder AJ Pollock revealed he tested positive for coronavirus during a Zoom press conference Friday afternoon. When Pollock started feeling the typical symptoms of the illness, he took a COVID-19 test as a precaution. After receiving a positive result, Pollock quarantined himself in his house before leaving for Los Angeles. This is the likely reason he reported to Summer Camp late.

Pollock was rumored to be contemplating opting out of the season due to health reasons involving his daughter, Maddi Mae, who was born three months premature back in May. He and his wife, Kate, were relieved their daughter tested negative. Pollock suspect that, despite being extremely cautious, he contracted COVID-19 from the hospital where his daughter is being treated. Ultimately, Kate was the driving force in Pollock’s decision to play in 2020. “Can you really look at the guys winning a World Series from the couch?” she asked.

Pollock worked out regularly to stay in shape and said he feels ready for Opening Day.

Relief pitcher Joe Kelly threw a bullpen session Thursday and is expected to be ready by the start of the season, even though he hasn’t pitched in a game in over a week.

Catching prospect Keibert Ruiz reported to the Dodgers yesterday after missing most of Summer Camp for undisclosed reasons, according to Ken Gurnick, Dodgers MLB website beat writer. Though Ruiz could have been activated Friday, he was placed on the 10-day injured list on Wednesday.

Pitcher Tony Gonsolin was optioned to the Dodgers’ alternate training site on Friday. Gonsolin threw a few bullpen sessions during camp after arriving late. He was slated to throw a simulated game against hitters today. Gonsolin has been touted for his versatility as a swingman option and is expected to contribute significantly this season.

During a Zoom presser, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was asked “how figured out” the outfield was to start the season. “Obviously, you see Mookie and Cody in center field and right field. But, I think for us, the versatility component is important,” said Roberts.

The Dodgers are blessed with depth in talent and versatility. Chris Taylor, Kiké Hernandez, Cody Bellinger, Matt Beaty, and Joc Pederson have all shown the ability to play both outfield and infield positions. This gives Roberts the flexibility to build his lineup and set up defensively in the best possible way for every game.

In the old friend department, beloved former Dodger outfielder Yasiel Puig tested positive for COVID-19 and released this statement yesterday:

Puig reportedly signed with the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday, but the deal fell through after the news of his positive test became public.

Contrary to what we reported yesterday, there was third and final game in the Team Kiké versus Team Turner tournament last night. Team Kiké won and completed the sweep. It was also the very last intrasquad scrimmage of Summer Camp. During the match, Team Kiké captain, Kiké Hernandez, had some fun taunting Team Turner.

Since there are no more intrasquad games left, we may have seen the last of Francisco “Chico” Herrera’s awe-inspiring highlights. The Dodgers made a video to celebrate his performance during Summer Camp.

Oskar is a writer for Dodgers-Lowdown. Follow him on Twitter @2Rawsko94. Graphic credit: Alberto Amezola, Jr.