His earned-run average, groundball percentage and strikeout-to-walk ratio are only a few of the numbers that will determine whether sinker-ball specialist Scott Alexander sticks with the Dodgers if baseball is able to launch a pandemic-shortened season.
Alexander’s blood-sugar levels could be just as vital. As one of at least three major leaguers with Type 1 diabetes, he must be attentive to his glucose numbers to avoid severe illness if he were infected by the novel coronavirus.
“From what I’ve been told by our doctors, as long as I keep my glucose numbers in good range and keep myself healthy, then I’m not really at any higher risk,” said Alexander, a left-handed reliever who went 3-2 with a 3.63 ERA in 28 games of a 2019 season marred by a nerve problem in his forearm.
“I’m continuing to stay in contact with our medical staff and to stay on top of it. If the doctors were to tell me at some point that I was definitively at a high risk and it could be fatal if I were to contract the coronavirus because I have Type 1 diabetes, then I would have to seriously consider not playing.”
A 67-page document outlining Major League Baseball’s proposed health and safety protocols for avoiding the spread of the coronavirus, sent to players May 15, includes three pages devoted to “protocol for high-risk individuals,” with a link to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.