Didi Gregorius will play in Major League Baseball (MLB) this season with a mouth mask because of the corona virus. The Dutch baseball player from Philadelphia Phillies has a chronic kidney disease and therefore belongs to the risk group.

During the Phillies training camp in preparation for the new season, Gregorius was one of the few players to wear a mask.

"I have had the kidney disease for a while and will remain there for the rest of my life," said the born Amsterdammer in conversation with The Philadelphia Inquirer on Thursday . "I have had a good conversation with the doctors and they are going to help me stay safe and healthy. I belong to the risk group and that is why I walk with a mask every day."

Gregorius has played for the Phillies since this year, after having been with the New York Yankees for many years from 2015. The Orange-international previously played for Cincinnati Reds and Arizona Diamondbacks in the MLB.

The new MLB season opens on Thursday, July 23, and the Phillies' first game is a day later against Miami Marlins. Due to the corona crisis, each club will only play 60 games this season up to the playoffs, instead of the regular 162.

Earlier, pitcher Joe Ross and inner fielder Ryan Zimmerman, two baseball players of champion Washington Nationals, chose to skip the upcoming MLB season for fear of the corona virus. Of all countries in the world, the United States has been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.