Rhys Hoskins is taking Major League Baseball’s health protocols very seriously.
Heck, he wore a mask during a zoom video session with reporters after Wednesday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park.
Hoskins did not wear a mask during the game.
But he may opt to wear one when the regular season starts on July 24.
Or even sooner.
Hoskins is a first baseman and that position isn’t exactly the best place to employ social distancing. You have to hold runners on base, take pickoff throws from the pitcher and make sweep tags on runners diving back to the base. Occasionally, a first baseman and base runner get physically tangled. You know, the throw from the pitcher is off-line. The first baseman lunges to stop it from going down the right-field line. Next thing you know, the first baseman is sprawled on top of the base runner.
That doesn’t exactly qualify as good social-distance practice.
So Hoskins may don a mask in the field one of these days.
“I thought that any time I was on the field, I would not be wearing a mask, but maybe it’s something I keep in my back pocket in a Ziploc baggie or something,” Hoskins said. “When somebody gets on first, I throw it on."
“It might make some more sense if I am wearing a mask in the field.”
Sitting outside the Phillies’ clubhouse, Hoskins tugged on the mask he was wearing during his zoom interview.
“I’m not super bothered by it,” he said. “These are pretty comfortable. Hot for sure but the expense of being hot is worth not catching this thing and potentially ruining a season. It’s definitely something I’ll have to give thought to and ask the trainers and see what they say and go from there. I’m not opposed to it.”
Hoskins knows full well what a beast coronavirus can be. He and teammate Scott Kingery are longtime best buds. Kingery spoke of his battle with coronavirus earlier this week.
First base is baseball’s water cooler and the men who play the position are generally gregarious by nature. Hoskins is no exception. He likes to chat with base runners and share a laugh during breaks in the action.
That practice might be going away. Just like spitting.
Will Hoskins chat with base runners?
“I don't know if I will,” he said. “At least if I am, it's definitely not looking at him. I'll probably just continue to look at the pitcher.
“But yeah, that's something that happens, I think, on every baseball field. Runner on first, there's usually some sort of exchange and off we go, we're talking about whatever we're talking about. Again, just a little adjustment that we'll have to make."