With players arriving in Cincinnati on Tuesday to prepare for workouts to get ready for the upcoming season, Reds players and staff underwent testing for COVID-19 as a part of the health and safety plan. Some players underwent testing before arriving. Two of those players have had their tests come back positive. Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer had the quickest fingers this morning, beating the other beat writers to the report by a matter of seconds, reporting the news that neither of the two players live in, or were in Cincinnati.
#Reds had 2 players in the organization test positive for COVID-19. They were tested outside of Cincinnati and are not in Cincinnati now.
— Bobby Nightengale (@nightengalejr) July 2, 2020
Major League Baseball and the 30 teams are not allowed to report who the players are that test positive for COVID-19 as it’s considered a “non-baseball” injury, which makes it different from a team announcing that a player has a sprained ankle or some other physical injury suffered while playing. Essentially, the media and fans will have to play “guess who it is” unless the player chooses to announce it themselves. We know that it wasn’t Tucker Barnhart, who announced on twitter yesterday that he tested negative. And if you really want to, you can browse the social media of other players and see that some of them are in Cincinnati and eliminate them as possibilities, too.
Players have the choice to opt out of the 2020 season if they would like to. They don’t get paid, nor do they get the service time – but they can choose to sit out if they do not feel comfortable playing for any given (or ungiven) reason. So far the number of players to opt out is small, but includes former Reds pitcher Mike Leake. Manager David Bell told the media on Wednesday morning, as first reported by C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic, that no Cincinnati players had opted out as of now.
#Reds David Bell says as of now, nobody has opted out
— C. ???????????? (@ctrent) July 2, 2020
The first workouts at Great American Ballpark and Prasco Park – the teams second training site in Mason, Ohio – will begin on Friday. There are currently 57 players on the Reds 60-man player pool roster – though with the two positive tests, only 55 players will be present.