Going into the year, Josh Taylor would have never thought that he would be making his 2020 debut in the middle of August.
But, his testing positive for COVID-19 resulted in him being sidelined for about six weeks before he was finally activated from the injured list prior to Monday’s game against the Yankees.
When speaking with reporters for the first time in a while on Monday, the left-hander admitted that he really did not know what to expect upon getting that positive test result back in the beginning of July.
“I was asymptomatic, so I had no idea [the test] would come back positive,” Taylor said. “I kept looking back and maybe I got it at a grocery store or something. I have no clue. I had two long weeks of sitting in a hotel room to figure it out and nothing really comes to mind.”
In Taylor’s absence, the Red Sox pitching staff endured their fair of struggles, which is something the 27-year-old may have helped with considering he posted a 3.11 ERA and .638 OPS against in 52 appearances out of the Boston bullpen as a rookie last year.
That possibility did not sit too well for Taylor while he was in self-isolation and watching his team getting off to a dreadful 6-16 start to the season.
“It sucks sitting in my hotel room and watching the game on TV,” he continued. “Seeing an inning go bad and saying ‘I could have been there to at least try to help limit the damage or get us through the inning.’ It’s tough, but I’m just happy I’m here know and can help the team contribute and hopefully we can turn things around.
Despite how much it must have gotten on Taylor to to be in that situation, he was at least able to stay in relatively good shape by using what was available to him in his room. That being his own laundry.
“I was throwing a ball into a sock, really,” the southpaw said of his self-isolation routine. “You tape a sock to your hand and throw [the ball] into the sock. That’s about as good as you get.”
Fortunately, Taylor can move on from that and look forward to appearing in a real game for the first time since last September. He is indeed ready for that to happen, as you may expect.
“I haven’t been put in a real-game scenario, but I definitely feel like I’m ready to go,” the Arizona native said. “I feel like my arm should be where it was last year and I’m pretty confident I’ll be able to go out and compete at the level I did last year.”
It’s been a frustrating last few weeks for Taylor, but he’s back in the majors and ready to build off what he accomplished in 2019, shortened season and all.