With the 2020 Major League Baseball season less than two weeks away, the Colorado Rockies are ramping up their efforts to get ready for the return to action. The team is now at full strength as outfielder Charlie Blackmon joined the club Monday.
Blackmon contracted coronavirus earlier this summer and was quarantined at his home in Georgia before returning to Coors Field.
“I am very happy to be back, and it is nice to be able to walk through the locker room, see your buddies, see your teammates like normal this time of year,” Blackmon said via Zoom Monday. “I was getting kind of bored sitting at home in quarantine by myself.”
Blackmon is roughly two weeks removed from experiencing symptoms, and he said he felt “sick” for approximately 36 hours.
“I’m lucky that it didn’t affect me that bad,” Blackmon said. “If I were to explain this experience in terms of the setbacks that I’ve had in my life, this is a minor, minor glitch, a minor speed bump. It’s not something that is going to throw me off. It’s not something that I was scared of or that I’ll be scared of for any of the guys in this locker room.”
Blackmon said a headache was the worst symptom, and he also dealt with a minor cough. Overall, Blackmon said the experience was very mild compared to other cases around the world.
Aside from losing some physical strength, Blackmon feels good, and hopes to be on the field for Opening Day on July 24.
“I want to be ready for Opening Day,” Blackmon said. “That is a pretty short period of time to get ready for Major League Baseball, so I will do my best. That is the goal.”
Blackmon was a full participant at Rockies’ Summer Camp Monday, and he even stayed on the field after a majority of the outfielders to get some extra work in.
Assuming he is healthy, Blackmon will be the Rockies starting right fielder come Opening Day, and he will round-out one of the best outfield units in baseball.
“I think the outfield is a strength of our team, ” Blackmon said. ”We are a talented outfield. I hope to be a big contributor in the outfield. It seems like we have a really good atmosphere going here for practice. I expect us to be ready to go.”
While Blackmon’s goal is to be ready for the Rockies’ first game of the season, he realizes that his bout with COVID-19 could slow down the return process somewhat.
”I want to be ready to play right away, and I think I will be able to play, ” Blackmon said. ”Is it the worst thing if I am not ready for the very first game? No. As long as it means that I am preparing to play and not suffering setbacks.”