Brewers’ Houser tests positive for virus; Yelich feels fine

MLB

MILWAUKEE (AP)Pitcher Adrian Houser has become the latest Milwaukee Brewers player to test positive for the coronavirus.

But the Brewers also finally have a bit of good news as they continue dealing with issues related to the virus. Outfielder Christian Yelich is eligible to come off the COVID-19 injured list and says he’s feeling fine.

”It’s not like I was super sick or anything,” Yelich said. ”It was just, `I’m not allowed to do anything.’ I felt fine very quickly. I felt like I did right now on day two. I felt like I had a cold coming on for a day or two, and after that I had a stuffy nose, and by day three to four, I was fine again. I couldn’t taste or smell for a while. That was probably the worst part. It’s still not all the way back. Other than that, it was all good.”

The Brewers haven’t yet made a move involving either Houser or Yelich.

Brewers manager Craig Counsell said before Friday’s game with the San Francisco Giants that they’d decide on a plan for Yelich after he works out. Counsell said Houser reported symptoms Friday and took a test that came back positive.

That means Houser will head to the COVID-19 injured list, forcing him to sit out at least 10 days.

Other Brewers on the COVID-19 reserve list include All-Star closer Josh Hader, starting pitcher Eric Lauer, relievers Jake Cousins, Jandel Gustave and Hunter Strickland plus first baseman Keston Hiura.

All of them are on the list due to positive tests. Gustave had been on the list due to contact tracing, but he has now tested positive as well.

”We don’t know what to expect kind of day to day,” Counsell said. ”With Christian being back, we’re 10 days into it, essentially. I don’t know what that means, but that’s how long we’ve been dealing with it. So we’re doing the best we can.”

The Brewers still entered Friday with a seven-game lead over Cincinnati in the NL Central.

Yelich said he started feeling better not long after he went on the injured list. Yelich, who was vaccinated, said he assumed he just had a cold until his test came back positive.

Since he couldn’t leave his home for 10 days, Yelich wasn’t able to participate in any baseball-related activities. The 2018 NL MVP instead spent that time catching up on the television series ”Yellowstone” and ordering an acoustic guitar.

”I always wanted to learn how to play,” Yelich said. ”I never took the plunge and did it. I was like, `Well, I literally had nothing to do for 10 days, so I might as well give it a shot here.’ ”

The 10-day break continued a frustrating season for Yelich.

Yelich played one game in a five-week stretch from mid-April to mid-May due to a lower back strain. He entered Friday batting .235 with six homers, 28 RBIs and a .367 slugging percentage in 67 games.

”It hasn’t been a great one,” Yelich said of his year. ”It’s up and down. What are you going to do? It’s been a great year for our team, and you just have to pass through this little rough spot here and hopefully get our guys back and finish strong. It didn’t all go according to plan. You just have to do the best you can and battle through.”

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