The Pirates and manager Derek Shelton have confirmed that closing pitcher, Keone Kela has tested positive for Covid-19. Kela is the fifth Pirate player who has contracted the virus. Over the weekend Pirates prospect, Ke’Bryan Hayes also tested for the virus. Right fielder, Gregory Polanco, who tested positive last week, was just placed on the Injured List.
Kela has missed all of Summer Camp so far and was placed on the IL earlier in the week. This wasn’t the start of the season the Bucs were hoping for. With an already unsatisfying bullpen, Kela’s absence will be missed. Last season Kela had an ERA of 2.12 and one save.
Kela’s Career And Future
Kela’s first season in Pittsburgh was almost as good, with a 2.93 ERA and 22 Ks. The 27-year old is just getting started. He spent his first three seasons on Texas Rangers, before being traded to the Bucs.
Before training camp started, the Bucs were one of 19 teams that had positive Covid-19 tests. And it seems the virus is running rampant in Pittsburgh’s clubhouse. Like the Polanco situation, the severity of the virus is unknown. However, if Kela is placed on the IL, that means he could join the team in less than 10-days.
As for the Hayes situation, he is cleared to join the team again. And with the regular season starting on Friday in St. Louis, the Pirate might put at third. The star prospect would take the place of Colin Moran if he is set in the lineup.
Hayes had a great 2019 season, were he boasted a .261 batting average with 55 RBI. Hayes and Kela are still young players and have a great future ahead of them. If they are both able to fully recover from this illness, they will be face of the Pirate’s franchise.
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