Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez says because he has asthma he will have to change the way he works with his teammates. There will be no more up close coaching sessions in the batting cage. Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

BOSTON — J.D. Martinez revealed during a Zoom call Sunday that he has asthmatic.

The Boston Red Sox DH admitted he’s scared as MLB restarts its 2020 season in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The Red Sox began summer training camp Friday. The regular season will open July 23 and 24.

Martinez, who took batting practice here at Fenway Park on Sunday, said he won’t be able to give his teammates up-close hitting suggestions and advice like he always has done in the past.

“It definitely changes it. I’ve already had a couple guys ask me, ‘When can you come to the cage?’ I’m like, ‘I can’t. They won’t let me.’

“Especially with me. I’m asthmatic,” Martinez added. “I’m very scared of everything. But it definitely changes the role. I try to do my best. Try to do the best I can. I know when we have our advanced meetings, I don’t know how that’s going to go and how we’re going to be able to talk and stuff like that. But I’m definitely going to do my best to still try to help. But you have to respect the whole situation, really.”

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology website, “Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that patients with moderate-severe asthma could be at greater risk for more severe disease, there are no published data to support this determination at this time. There has been one report suggesting that asthma may increase the risk of hospitalization from COVID-19 in 18-49 year old adults; however, this is based on a small number of patients.”


Martinez said he thinks he will be able to put the fear in the back of his mind and play baseball.

“I’m excited to go out there and play,” Martinez said. “I think my love for the game is going to outweigh my fear once I get out there.”

The Red Sox held a Zoom meeting before training camp began about social distancing and best practices at and away from the ballpark to stay safe.

“Everyone has to be accountable for all aspects of it because it’s is a scary time we’re living in,” Martinez said. “But I’m confident everyone got the message.”

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