Julio Teheran said he usually gets cold-like symptoms when it rains, so the Angels pitcher didn’t worry when he began to feel a little sick the day after a storm passed over his Atlanta-area home in late June.
But when the veteran right-hander came down with a fever, chills, body aches, headaches and lost his sense of taste, he grew concerned, not so much for himself but for his parents, who are considered high risk for severe complications from COVID-19, and his wife and 4-year-old son.
“I was more worried about getting other people in my family sick,” Teheran said on a videoconference call Sunday. “I knew the coronavirus can hit you really hard. With all my hard work and training, I knew it wouldn't hit me hard, but I wanted to be sure that it didn't affect the rest of my family.”
Teheran, who signed a one-year, $9-million deal last winter, quarantined himself at home and sent his parents to live in a hotel. He tested positive for the coronavirus, the third such confirmed Angels player, joining Patrick Sandoval and Matt Thaiss. .
Teheran canceled his trip to Anaheim two days before his flight. He said he felt fatigued for another four days before taking a turn for the better. His wife, son and his son’s nanny also tested positive.
His wife and son were asymptomatic, but the nanny experienced symptoms similar to Teheran’s for several days. His parents, Teheran said, are fine.
“I don’t know what happened or how this virus managed to get other people sick — it still isn't clear,” Teheran said. “I thought being isolated in the house would prevent others from being affected, but without realizing it, it spread throughout my family. … But I’m thankful we’re done with that.”
Teheran admitted he already tested positive when he told ESPN Deportes on July 8 that he was awaiting test results.
“I tried to keep everything private because it's something serious,” Teheran said. “I think this virus, with all the things that we're hearing in the news and media, it was something difficult for me and I decided to keep it quiet. We weren't out of it yet, and my family was still recovering. … It still had me stressed.”
Teheran tested negative twice last week and traveled to Anaheim on Friday. He estimated he’s “about a week behind” schedule in his throwing program and thinks he’ll be ready to join the rotation by early August.
Angels manager Joe Maddon said pitching coach Mickey Callaway was “really pleased” with Teheran’s bullpen session Saturday.
“Julio is highly eager and highly motivated,” Maddon said, “so it’s trending in the right direction.”
“As quick as our build-up was in this spring training 2.0, and then with the season being as short at it is, it was just smart to be cautious,” Heaney said Sunday. “I feel ready after 85 pitches my last time out. I felt good with all of my stuff.”
In case Heaney can’t go Friday, Maddon moved Dylan Bundy, who was scheduled to start Monday night’s exhibition at San Diego, to Sunday’s intrasquad game so the right-hander would be available Friday on regular rest.
Ohtani's final tuneup
Ohtani, who hasn’t pitched in a game since Sept. 2, 2018, at Houston, gave up one run and five hits, struck out six and walked four. He threw 72 pitches, 45 for strikes.
“I feel better each time I get out there,” Ohtani said through an interpreter. “I feel better with the mound, with facing hitters, getting reps in. … Obviously, I’m very excited to get back on the mound. It’s been almost two years.”