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Braves' Adam Duvall plans to play despite higher risk as diabetic

Gabriel Burns, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in Baseball

ATLANTA -- Five days before camp reopened July 1, Braves manager Brian Snitker had a long conversation with outfielder Adam Duvall, who falls under the high-risk category as a diabetic. Duvall could've opted out of the 2020 season and received his pay and service time.

Instead, he's all systems go, hoping he'll play an important role throughout the 60-game season.

"I did some research on my own," Duvall said. "I did talk to a couple doctors. I felt that I was in a good position as long as I did what I needed to do as far as staying safe, trying to keep my distance, washing my hands, everything they've talked about. I wanted to play this year. I was anxious to play. As far as right now, I don't feel like I'm in any type of danger.

"My mindset has been 'go' the whole time. I've tried to stay as ready as I could as far as being in game shape and ready to go. I was planning on playing the whole time. I enjoy playing the game. For me, it was a little off not being able to play. The fans are hungry for baseball. I think America needs something to look forward to and get excited about. I feel like we're in a good spot."

Duvall, 31, was diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes in 2012. During the pandemic, he's had to be even more careful with his condition.

"It's more important than ever to keep your blood sugar stable and within a certain range," he said. "The more you're out of it, the more complications you could have if you were to contract COVID. Right now it's more important than ever to stay on top of it, watch the numbers and do your best to manage it. That's what I've always done.

 

"I take a lot of pride in taking care of my diabetes and putting it first. I know that down the road I can have complications if I don't watch out for it now. That's always been important to me."

Duvall stuck to his decision even after seeing four Braves test positive for COVID-19. He said that "put it more into perspective as far as knowing that things can go wrong."

When Snitker spoke with Duvall, he just wanted to make sure his player felt safe going through with playing. He and the team wanted to accommodate Duvall in any way he needed.

"He is probably more in tune with his body than anybody in this clubhouse because of his disease," Snitker said. "(What we told him is) we'll do whatever we can, whatever you feel we need to, to make you feel safe. Whether it's isolating you at your locker, things like that. He felt good about everything and confident. Hats off to him. It's good to have a guy like that on our 30 (roster)."

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