Yesterday, we shared the news that Phillies star catcher J.T. Realmuto would be missing their two game series against the Toronto Blue Jays, because he’s unvaccinated and Canada still has strict COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
He’s giving up over $260,000 by missing the trip, but he stayed true to his beliefs, saying:
“I’m not going to let Canada tell me what I do and don’t put in my body.”
He was joined by third baseman Alec Bohm, and pitchers Aaron Nola and Kyle Gibson in his decision.
If you thought that was a bad blow to the Phillies, just look at what’s going on with the Kansas City Royals organization.
ESPN insider Jeff Passan reported that a whopping 10 players from the Royals’ 26-man roster will not be making the upcoming trip to Toronto, due to their vaccination status.
Ten players on the Kansas City Royals' 26-man roster will not make the trip to Toronto this week because they are unvaccinated, sources tell ESPN. That includes the team’s lone All-Star and a top trade target, outfielder Andrew Benintendi. Multiple regulars among those missing.
This includes their All-Star outfielder Andrew Benintendi, infielder/outfielder Whit Merrifield, catcher M.J. Melendez, designated hitter, Hunter Dozier, starting pitcher Brad Keller, starting pitcher Brady Singer, centerfielder Michael A. Taylor, outfielder Kyle Isbel, Dylan Coleman, and catcher Cam Gallagher.
The 10 Kansas City Royals who are not vaccinated and will miss the trip to Toronto are: OF Andrew Benintendi, IF/OF Whit Merrifield, C M.J. Melendez, DH Hunter Dozier, SP Brad Keller, SP Brady Singer, CF Michael A. Taylor, OF Kyle Isbel, RP Dylan Coleman and C Cam Gallagher.
The 10 who will miss the series include four of their five top hitters, and two best starters, and the Royals will have to bring up a number of players from their Triple-A and Double-A players.
Up until today, 25 total visiting players had not been allowed into Canada because they were unvaccinated. Kansas City by itself has 10 — including four of its five top hitters and its two best starters. They'll be replaced by a rash of AAA and AA players who will be in Toronto.
Although this is a massive blow to the Royals’ chances of winning the series in Toronto, there’s still a part of me that wonders if these decisions would be made differently if the team wasn’t dead last in the division, 13 games back from the fist-place Minnesota Twins with their season basically already over.
Many would argue that the Phillies’ lack of players in Toronto is a bigger hit, considering they’re chasing the Braves for second place in the division, only six-games behind the Braves.
Regardless, it’s still pretty crazy to think about what’s going on with Toronto’s mandates right now… I mean, is a guy standing alone in center field really gonna infect the city of Toronto?