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Bieber returns to the field with Indians, after quarantine

Shane Bieber showed up at preseason camp with the Cleveland Indians on Saturday after being quarantined for COVID-19.

The right-hander, who was awarded the Cy Young in 2020, received medical clearance to rejoin Cleveland, which is already active with pitchers and catchers in Goodyear, Arizona.

Bieber, 25, recently tested positive for coronavirus, but experienced only mild symptoms.

He spent part of the winter training in the team compound. Manager Terry Francona said his ace will resume normal activities.

“He was actually able to throw a bullpen session when he was out. I think he did it in his yard, ”said Francona, who is recovering from a bacterial foot infection. “So he hasn’t lagged behind. I think being in this environment leads you to work better, but we’ve all seen the Biebs. He will train wherever. This is not a problem for him ”.

During his first day, Bieber participated in fielding practice, rather than pitching. The Indians will have their full roster this Sunday for the first time in the preseason.

Dominant throughout the shortened coronavirus campaign, Bieber led the majors with eight wins, a 1.63 ERA and 122 strikeouts. Thus he got the Triple Crown of pitching, something unusual.

Bieber is expected to once again shoulder the responsibility of leading the Indians to the postseason, after achieving it in 2020 with the wild-card passage. Cleveland has one of the best starting teams in the American League, led by Bieber, whose record is 34-14 in three seasons in the majors.

There is still room for improvement for Bieber, according to Francona.

“I do think that as he gets to know more about the league and himself, he will improve, because he is that type of person,” he said. “He’s aware and ready, and he’s willing and willing to be great. So I think they will see things that he will surely improve on this year. ”