Jul 15, 2020 1:26 AM

Rockies star recovering from COVID-19 against "canceling-everything strategy"

Posted Jul 15, 2020 1:26 AM

DENVER (AP) — All those fastballs that ended up bouncing around the water fall, fountains and pine trees at Coors Field during summer camp mean one of two things for the Colorado Rockies.

Either their pitchers are rusty and the team might be in for a long haul of a 60-game season or slugger Nolan Arenado is already in midseason form and opponents had better watch out.

The Rockies insist it’s the latter.

“I’ve hit some mistakes,” Arenado acknowledged during a power surge that featured two moon-shot homers in an intrasquad scrimmage. “I think that’s hitting, right? You’ve got to be able to take advantage of the mistakes.”

Are the Rockies once again ready to rake at the plate but flounder from the mound?

Arenado said he wasn’t worried about seeing so many misplaced pitches in camp, suggesting it was just a case of him making them pay the price.

“They’re working on different pitches, they’re trying to get their pitch count up," Arenado said. "As we get closer, yeah, you want them to be better. But we’re all working on things.”

That includes All-Star outfielder Charlie Blackmon, the first Major League player known to have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Blackmon got sick last month and returned to the Rockies on July 13 after getting the all-clear.

“I wasn’t worried. I felt sick, but it was nothing compared to me having the flu,” Blackmon said, adding he was only sick for about 36 hours. “Looking back on it, I wish I had gotten this months ago and felt crappy for a day and a-half and then got on with it and lived the rest of my life and not have tried to avoid it by canceling everything in the country.

“That’s only based on my experience. It can be much more serious for” others, Blackmon added.

Arenado was glad to have his fellow slugger back.

“We know how much we need him and how important he is to our group,” Arenado said. “It’s not like if Chuck’s out, you’re going to plug in a guy who does exactly what Chuck does. You know, what Chuck does is pretty special."

Blackmon hopes to be ready for the Rockies’ opener at Texas on July 24.