CLEVELAND — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from Feb. 12, 2021.
Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Shane Bieber has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19), team president Chris Antonetti announced on Thursday.
Antonetti said that Bieber tested positive while working out in Goodyear, Arizona, the site of the Indians' Spring Training facility. Antonetti said that Bieber is currently experiencing "very, very mild symptoms" and is expected to return to camp in the next few days.
Indians pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training on Wednesday with their first workout scheduled on Thursday. The team is still waiting for some players to complete the testing process.
The 25-year-old Bieber enters 2021 as the Indians' undisputed ace after winning the 2020 American League Cy Young Award.
In 12 starts during a 2020 campaign that was shortened due to the coronavirus pandemic, the right-hander amassed an 8-1 record to go along with a 1.63 ERA and 122 strikeouts, winning the first pitching Triple Crown since Justin Verlander did so in 2011.
Following the offseason trade that sent Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco to the New York Mets, Cleveland will continue to rely on Bieber as an anchor of not just its pitching staff, but its entire roster.
Asked on Thursday why he expects the Indians to continue to compete in the American League Central Division following an offseason in which they lost Lindor and Carrasco, as well as Carlos Santana and Brad Hand, Antonetti replied succinctly: "Shane Bieber and Jose Ramirez."