Cleveland Indians ace Shane Bieber, who pitched UCSB to the College World Series in 2016, has rejoined the major league club after being quarantined with COVID-19.
Bieber reportedly dealt with “very, very mild symptoms” and wasn’t expected to remain away from the team for very long. It was announced Thursday that he tested positive for the virus, and he was in camp on Saturday.
Chris Antonetti, the Indians’ president of baseball operations, said Bieber, 25, had been working out at the team’s complex this winter.
He won the American League Cy Young Award last season after leading the league in wins (8-1 record), ERA (1.63) and strikeouts (122) in 12 starts. Bieber, who finished fourth in the A.L.’s MVP voting, has gone 34-14 over the past three seasons.
Cleveland manager Terry Francona said on Saturday his ace will resume a normal work schedule.
“He was actually able to throw a bullpen I think in his backyard when he was down,” said Francona, who is recovering from a staph infection in his toe. “So he’s not behind. I do think that being in this environment is more conducive to better work, but we’ve all seen Biebs.
“He’s going to get it done wherever. That’s not an issue.”
The former Gaucho took part in non-throwing, fielding practice on his first day. The Indians will have their first full-squad workout on Sunday.
— Mitchell White