Jesus Luzardo cleared to return to camp following positive COVID-19 test

Jesus Luzardo (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images)
Jesus Luzardo (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images) /

Oakland Athletics’ pitcher Jesus Luzardo has been cleared to return to camp.

The Oakland Athletics were dealt a serious blow earlier in the month when it was announced that promising young pitcher Jesus Luzardo had tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the team’s July 4th report date.

Luzardo, the A’s top prospect, was expected to be featured in a prominent role this season after making an impressive debut in 2019. However, his positive test obviously put things on hold.

But after isolating himself for two weeks, Luzardo has officially been cleared to return and join his team for training camp at the Coliseum.

MLB guidelines stated that Luzardo had to test negative for COVID-19 twice within a span of 24 hours in order for him to be fully allowed to return. And evidently, that’s exactly what happened.

Now, the A’s are likely to ease Luzardo back into action and could even have him start the year in the bullpen. That’s sort of what manager Bob Melvin alluded to when talking to reporters about Luzardo’s status.

"“We’ll do whatever is best for him and the team, but it depends on when we get him back. He’s already politicking to me that he’s gonna be ready to go and will only need to throw a bullpen once. We want to make sure, obviously, physically, that he’s in position to do that.”"

Jesus Luzardo will play a key part in the Oakland Athletics’ success in 2020 no matter what his role is.

Either way, Luzardo is expected to play a key role in the A’s pitching staff in 2020. And after the promise he showed in his brief 2019 stint, his full-time arrival certainly has fans excited for his future.

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Luzardo pitched 12 innings in 2019 finishing the season with 16 strikeouts and a stellar 1.50 ERA. He also recorded three shutout, one-hit innings in the AL Wild Card game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The 22-year-old was effective out of the bullpen last year, but the A’s obviously want to see him develop into the future ace of the team. They’ll likely be patient, but they could only hold back his talent for so long.

Luzardo has even found himself in the middle of some early Rookie of the Year talks along with teammate Sean Murphy. And if he finds himself in the starting rotation before long, he’ll be given every opportunity to make good on those preseason projections.

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The A’s are certainly happy to have Jesus Luzardo back and we’re all glad that he’s healthy once again.