fbpx
Favorites

© 2022 BVM Sports. Best Version Media, LLC.

Favorites

More positive tests, canceled workouts add to MLB unease

More positive tests, canceled workouts add to MLB unease
Indians Baseball - AP Photo/Ron Schwane

As baseball nears the two-week countdown to the start of its delayed season, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep more players, including Boston Red Sox projected opening day starter Eduardo Rodriguez, off the field.

On Tuesday, one day after Major League Baseball released its 60-game schedule, there was continued evidence of the difficulties caused by the pandemic.

The San Francisco Giants suspended workouts at Oracle Park as they awaited the results of weekend tests for the coronavirus. The Chicago Cubs’ workout was delayed.

Oakland left-hander Jake Diekman, who has ulcerative colitis, an autoimmune condition, said teams having to call off workouts because of delays in test results “just can’t happen.”

“I know they’re trying their hardest, but I don’t know if that’s good enough for right now,” Diekman said Tuesday. “It’s a little worrisome. Say we go on a 10-day road trip and we only get results one time. That’s not very good with 45 or 50 people in a clubhouse at one time.”

Giants manager Gabe Kapler said one missed day wouldn’t put his club behind. He said he expects the testing process to improve.

“I feel as confident today as I did yesterday,” Kapler said. “I understand that there are going to be hiccups along the way. … I think more than anything I just maintain a level of empathy for everybody that’s working really hard to get our camp up and running but also across the league and for all the clubs that are working really hard to put their players in a position to have success. Nobody expected this to be easy and everybody is doing the best that they can.”

The Giants already have had prospect Hunter Bishop and pitcher Luis Madero test positive.

Rodriguez, who broke out in 2019 as a star, and Red Sox prospect Bobby Dalbec tested positive for the virus.

Rodriguez had not reported to camp after informing the team that he had been around relatives who had been ill. Dalbec, a third baseman, also is home and is asymptomatic.

Manager Ron Roenicke said it is “just unfortunate” the positive test could jeopardize Rodriguez’s chances to start on opening day. Rodriguez had career-best numbers with 19 wins and a 3.81 ERA in 2019.

Also, the Kansas City Royals announced right-hander Brad Keller and first baseman Ryan O’Hearn had positive tests and gave the team permission to announce the results.

Keller, 24, said he has “minor symptoms that remind me more of an allergy attack.”

The threat of an infection was enough for the Cleveland Indians to keep outfielder Franmil Reyes away from camp. Reyes was told to stay home after he was seen on social media attending a weekend holiday party without wearing a mask.

It was an example that off-field activities can affect a player’s status.

Manager Terry Francona said Reyes would be re-tested “when it’s appropriate.”

Francona said Reyes could have exposed himself and his teammates to the virus by not practicing social distancing or wearing a mask. Francona said he has used the incident as a teaching point for other players. He said Reyes has apologized.

“This is not to poke at Franmil,” Francona said, adding Reyes is “a wonderful kid and I don’t ever want that to be disputed. But we have gone around to the other players and talked to them about it.”

The Cubs’ workout was delayed a few hours as the team awaited test results. On Monday, Cubs slugger Kris Bryant criticized the lack of frequency of the tests and delays in getting results.

Manager David Ross said Tuesday’s delay “isn’t a huge deal” and seemed bigger ”with what’s been going on with some teams the last day or so.”

“We can’t just crush MLB because this is new to them, too, and the testing facility,” Ross said.

The two teams from last year’s World Series, the champion Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros, resumed workouts after canceling practices on Monday because of testing delays.

“They’re still trying to iron out the bugs,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “No one’s happy about it — the players, the MLB, probably the testing site. But the tests came back today, and we were able to work.”

Some Washington players did not take part in workouts, including Starlin Castro, Juan Soto, Howie Kendrick and Victor Robles. General manager Mike Rizzo said two unidentified players tested positive for the coronavirus. Any players and staff who came into contact with the two players had to be re-tested.

Braves manager Brian Snitker, eager for a quiet day, embraced “our first normal feel day since we’ve been back.”

Four Atlanta players, including first baseman Freddie Freeman and one of the team’s top relievers, Will Smith, have tested positive. Two veterans, outfielder Nick Markakis and right-hander Félix Hernández, have decided to sit out the season.

On Tuesday, Snitker had his first chance to address his full squad at Truist Park as he made plans for a situational scrimmage on Wednesday and the team’s first intrasquad game on Monday. Before Tuesday, only small groups had been on the field as the team practiced social distancing.

“I told the guys I’ve never felt so detached from the team in all my life because we’ve been here, there and everywhere,” Snitker said. “I feel like today is the start of something that we’re all kind of getting back in the swing of these things.”

Among Braves pitchers scheduled to throw on Wednesday are Mike Soroka, Max Fried, Josh Tomlin and Shane Greene.

The Baltimore Orioles will play their first intrasquad game on Wednesday night at Camden Yards. Left-hander Tommy Milone and right-hander Tom Eshelman will start in the game, which is scheduled for 7 1/2 innings.

“Everyone’s getting tired of going through the daily workout and ready to play some meaningless games, at least where pitchers face hitters in a game environment,” manager Brandon Hyde said.

The intrasquad games and workouts give top prospects opportunities to show they belong.

In a matchup of the Marlins’ last two first-round picks, right-hander Max Meyer faced right fielder JJ Bleday in batting practice. Both hope to make the majors this season.

“Everyone has to be ready to go,” Meyer said. “COVID could go through the locker room. You never know what’s going to happen, especially the time we’re in right now. So all of us are getting ready.”

___

AP Sports Writers Kristie Rieken, Tim Booth, Janie McCauley, Kyle Hightower, Tom Withers, Dave Ginsburg and Steven Wine contributed to this report.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Get local sports news direct to your inbox

Originals

more
Notre Dame commit David Lally looking toward MLB future

Notre Dame commit David Lally looking toward MLB future

David Lally had a tremendous career at Grand Blanc that included a state title and…

Louisville commit Zion Rose concludes special junior season

Louisville commit Zion Rose concludes special junior season

Zion Rose is one of the top Class of 2023 players in Illinois and one…

Eric Brown’s journey from 0 offers to 2022 MLB Draft prospect

Eric Brown’s journey from 0 offers to 2022 MLB Draft prospect

Eric Brown put his faith in God and now he is a potential first-round MLB…

Mitchell Robinson back with New York Knicks: Instant reaction

Mitchell Robinson back with New York Knicks: Instant reaction

Mitchell Robinson is back with the Knicks after agreeing to a new contract. Here is…

Mark Johnson looks to climb the mountain again with Wisconsin

Mark Johnson looks to climb the mountain again with Wisconsin

Mark Johnson will look to add to his historic resume in his 20th season as…

Ryan Niblett ready to bring track speed to Texas football

Ryan Niblett ready to bring track speed to Texas football

Texas Longhorns’ four-star WR commit Ryan Niblett will team up in Austin with No. 1-ranked…

Future Badger Paytn Monticelli now a two-time Gatorade POY

Future Badger Paytn Monticelli now a two-time Gatorade POY

Two-time Gatorade Wisconsin Softball Player of the Year Paytn Monticelli is continuing her career with…

Bobby Portis returning to Bucks on four-year, $49 million deal

Bobby Portis returning to Bucks on four-year, $49 million deal

After being an integral part of the Bucks’ championship run in 2021 and having a…

Kevin Durant requests trade from Nets; Which team lands KD?

Kevin Durant requests trade from Nets; Which team lands KD?

Kevin Durant has requested out of Brooklyn to set up one of the biggest trades…

Jalen Brunson to the New York Knicks: Instant reaction

Jalen Brunson to the New York Knicks: Instant reaction

Jalen Brunson is finally a Knick. Here is everything you need to know:

Nick Van Exel is perfect for Trae Young, Dejounte Murray

Nick Van Exel is perfect for Trae Young, Dejounte Murray

Nick Van Exel, a fan favorite point guard from his time in the NBA and…

Tyler Freeman fulfilling his promise as Guardians prospect

Tyler Freeman fulfilling his promise as Guardians prospect

Cleveland Guardians shortstop prospect Tyler Freeman uses the motivation provided by his parents on his…

Ethan Davis brings elite TE versatility to Tennessee football

Ethan Davis brings elite TE versatility to Tennessee football

Tennessee's four-star TE commit Ethan Davis will team up with five-star QB Nico Iamaleava in…

Bayliss Flynn makes history with NIL deal

Bayliss Flynn makes history with NIL deal

Bayliss Flynn made history in Minnesota by becoming the first high school athlete to sign…

Bengals RB Trayveon Williams to teach at Texas A&M

Bengals RB Trayveon Williams to teach at Texas A&M

Cincinnati Bengals running back Trayveon Williams will be a co-professor of a course for the…

Francesco Capocci brings helping attitude to UNC baseball

Francesco Capocci brings helping attitude to UNC baseball

Francesco Capocci grew up with North Carolina as his dream school. Now he is a…

A.J. Tisdell joins Badgers’ Class of 2023 recruiting class

A.J. Tisdell joins Badgers’ Class of 2023 recruiting class

A.J. Tisdell can shine in Wisconsin under Jim Leonhard.

Ajani Sheppard: From one year starter to Old Dominion commit

Ajani Sheppard: From one year starter to Old Dominion commit

Iona Preparatory quarterback Ajani Sheppard rose from no Division I offers to more than a…

Northwestern commit Tyler Gant fueled by success on and off field

Northwestern commit Tyler Gant fueled by success on and off field

Three-star Class of 2023 defensive lineman Tyler Gant will look to continue his athletic and…

Nathan Rourke off to record-setting start for BC Lions

Nathan Rourke off to record-setting start for BC Lions

Taking over as the starting quarterback of the BC Lions, former Ohio University standout Nathan…