PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — There may not be a player more disappointed in the cancellation of the Minor League Baseball season than Metamora’s Ethan Skender.
He was hoping to play his first full season of pro ball this year. But COVID-19 had other ideas.
“That’s the thing about it. I feel unbelievable. I feel better than I have in years,” Skender said. “I’m ready to get after it. That’s the part that stinks.”
Skender started the year in the San Diego Padres training camp in February. But he’s has been working out at home since the coronavirus outbreak closed spring training facilities in March.
He worked out and waited for the season to resume.
“All we have is time to practice and get better now,” Skender. “This is what I’ll continue to do.”
Ironically, Skender may be uniquely qualified to survive a year without minor league baseball. At the beginning of his career, he spent two-and-a-half years on the sidelines with knee injuries.
He says this is nothing compared to that.
“Being hurt is something I would never wish upon anyone. It made me stronger as a player and person,” Skender said. “It prepared me for something like this to put my head down and work.”
Skender, 23, recovered from his injuries to play 41 games in Class A Fort Wayne last summer. It was his first game action in a couple of years.
Now he just wants another chance to get back on the diamond.
“One day the goal is to play in the big leagues,” Skender said. “I’m just going to do whatever I have to do to do that.”