Detroit Tigers pitching prospect Tarik Skubal had been socially distancing in his hometown of Kingman, Ariz. when he came down with COVID-19. Three nights later, his fever reached a whopping 103.7 degrees.
Needless to say, it was an unnerving experience.
“I didn’t know anyone who had it,” Skubal said Saturday morning on a Zoom video chat. “My friends and family, or their friends and family, it’s like, this is spreading but it doesn’t feel real. Then I got it. And yeah, it’s definitely real.”
“That was probably the scariest night for me, was like the third night, having that fever so high and being that hot,” Skubal said. “I’ve never felt like that before.”
Thankfully, the fever began subsiding and he began to build himself back up. A month later, he threw two innings of work during an intrasquad game in Toledo.
“I had pretty much all of the symptoms,” he said. “It set me back physically from that point. I couldn’t do much. I was quarantined in the house for two weeks, following all the protocols I was told to follow. It was tough.
“But I’m fine. I came out of it fine. I feel strong. It’s just about building back up. … Just being cautious because physically it took a lot out of me.”
However, he didn’t let the circumstances get him down, and is focusing on the progress he made during the shutdown before he contracted the illness.
“It’s out of my control,” he said. “I tried to be careful through this whole thing. I didn’t go out much. I tried to stay away from everybody. Just tried to stay ready for baseball. It’s tough. But I try not to think about that stuff, just because it’s probably not healthy to think about that.”
“I think I took a big step forward,” he said. “Just being able to work on things. I had the time where it was just full-go, didn’t have to throw to hitters. It wasn’t like I was trying to get numbers or outs. I was able to work on some pitches, design some stuff and feel some stuff that I really like.”
We’re thankful that Skubal is on the mend after such a scary experience. Of course, the ideal situation would be that he’d be pitching full time in a normal minor league season, but there’s hardly anything that’s “normal” right now.
“I’d love to be playing in a normal, minor-league season, but the world isn’t normal right now,” he said. “There are a lot of bigger problems, with the virus and everything else that’s going on. I’ll take what I can get. I’m playing baseball right now.
“I’m staying safe and trying to keep everyone else safe, as well.”
– – Quotes via Chris McKoskey of The Detroit News Link – –