Shippensburg University baseball alumnus Gabe Mosser was set to enter his third season of professional baseball this spring. But like so many other athletes, his career has come to a standstill due to the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Mosser, who graduated from SU in 2018, was drafted that summer by the San Diego Padres in the 27th round of the MLB Amateur Draft.
After Minor League Baseball officials delayed the season from its planned April 9 start, Mosser found his life put on hold.
It is unknown when the season will start. MLB officials are relying on public health experts and agencies to decide when it is safe to begin the 2020 season.
While Mosser was upset to see the season delayed, he knew it was the right thing to do.
“I feel that the delay was necessary just because of how all the other professional sports responded to it,” Mosser said. “Even if we played with no fans, we still have a life and we all go home after the game and we could potentially be exposed to it [the coronavirus] without knowing.”
Mosser said he is currently at home. He was among many players who stayed at their teams’ spring training complexes in Arizona and Florida for a few days but were later told to go home until notified to return.
“We were advised to head home, which I completely understand,” Mosser said. “They had to take every safety precaution.”
With a lot of free time on his hands, Mosser has been doing everything he can to stay fit and ready for whenever the season returns.
“I have been throwing every day and throwing bullpens every three days, trying to simulate a season-like routine,” Mosser said.
However, without a start date to mark on the calendar, Mosser said it is difficult to stay motivated.
“We do not know exactly when the season is going to start, and we do not have a date to look forward to, so it is tough,” he said.
According to Mosser, he is staying focused and mentally locked-in as much as he can to prepare for the season.
However, Mosser is concerned how the delay of the season could impact his career in the long run.
“I am getting older. I am only 23 but that is getting old compared to the 18 and 19-year-old kids,” he said.
The shorter time window could impact his ability to move up to the majors.
“For an older guy every year counts, every game counts and every pitch counts. This will for sure be a year that I will not forget,” Mosser said.
Like everyone else, Mosser is taking proper precautions to stay safe and healthy including social distancing.
“Stay inside and practice social distancing,” Mosser added. “If we do that, we can stop the spread and get back to doing what we love.”
Once the minor league season begins, Mosser will look to build off an impressive 2019 campaign. He finished the year with a combined 4.12 ERA, seven wins, and 110 strikeouts between Class A Fort Wayne and Class A-Advanced Lake Elsinore.