MINNE Associated PressOLIS ( Associated Press) – Whit Merrifield said Thursday that he has been vaccinated against COVID-19 and will be able to play for the Toronto Blue Jays upon his return to Canada.
Merrifield was acquired Tuesday in a trade with Kansas City for two minor league players. The player, a two-time All-Star, was in the starting lineup as center fielder for his first game with his new club on Thursday night in Minnesota.
“I’ll be in Toronto when the team gets back to Toronto,” Merrifield said, without revealing when he got the vaccine.
Merifield was among 10 Royals players who were not vaccinated until last month, preventing them from traveling to Toronto. When asked about his decision, Merrifield brushed off the outrage from Kansas City fans, saying, “Anything can happen and I’ll be on a team that gets a chance to play in Canada post season. Maybe there.” Everything will change.”
Of the comments he made in July, Merrifield said on Thursday: “They were something I could have handled a little better, but what happened, happened. I’m excited to be Blue Jay, go to Toronto and go to Rogers Center.” Call me home.”
The Blue Jays lead the battle for wild-card tickets in the American League. They are looking to reach the playoffs for the second time in three years.
Their next home match is against Cleveland on August 12.
Toronto manager John Schneider said Merrifield would play in various positions almost daily. Most likely he will play second base and center outfield.
“It’s a luxury to have such a man, you can literally put him anywhere and feel comfortable,” Schneider said. “The days he is not starting, he will probably play. I think having benches like this now allows us to be a little more aggressive in some places where we weren’t before. Of course we have a huge asset now.”