CHICAGO – As summer camps open for Major League Baseball teams, players are gathering as groups for the first time since the season was suspended on March 12th.
The arrival of players back into their home cities included testing for COVID-19, which the league said came back with 38 positive tests of players & staff on Friday out of 3,185.
Two days later, the White Sox announced that they had a pair of cases of their own as the team arrives for workouts at Guaranteed Rate Field.
On Sunday morning, the team announced that two of their players have tested positive for COVID-19. They’re not being identified, per their request for privacy, but both were asymptomatic and have been isolated in Chicago.
“We were surprised,” said manager Rick Renteria. “We’ll proceed with the protocol to get them back safely and back on the field.”
It was the same for first baseman Jose Abreu, who said that he heard of the positive tests on Sunday first from a reporter on his Zoom news conference.
“I just wish well for those guys, good and fast recovery,” said Abreu through an interpreter. “We support them.”
The good news for the club is that the positive tests came in the pre-entry testing, which means those who tested positive never stepped on the field to start camp workouts at Guaranteed Rate Field. It is yet another reminder of how prevalent the virus remains in the country as MLB tries to restart their season during his pandemic.
“It’s obviously a very difficult time with all that is happening with the virus. Each one of us has to make conscious decisions on trying to make the right decisions in every moment, because it is a very difficult time, and we don’t know what we’re facing,” said Abreu.
Renteria did take some comfort knowing that the testing protocol put in by the MLB did identify the players who had the virus since they were asymptomatic. It prevented what could have been a much worse of a situation so early in the team’s summer camp.
“The testings done, it obviously works. They were identified and the appropriate measures are being taken to continue to monitor and make sure that, first of all, that they are feeling healthy and clear of any effects of it,” said Renteria. “They’ll continue to be tested until they’re negative and able to come back with us.
“Again, it was more on the pre-entry, so everything that was supposed to be done before guys got here was done and so it works. The testing’s working.”