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.

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.

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.

21 Responses

  1. Tom Mitsoff

    If there are truly only two of the 57 players who have tested positive (3.5 percent), that would have to be considered encouraging. It could be a lot worse.

  2. Bred

    Maybe Doug addressed this previously if so please pardon my poor memory. Were the players isolated once they arrived in Cincy or did they have contact with other players? If they had contact with other players, will those players by MLB protocol have to isolate for 14 days?

    • Doug Gray

      The two players who tested positive never arrived in Cincinnati. Presumably this means that they were tested prior to leaving their home town, wherever that was. So in theory at least, they should never have been in contact with other Reds players.

      • Bred

        Thanks. I went back and reread the article and it was clear those 2 had not arrived in Cincy. My bad.

  3. Optimist

    Consider this a preview of what the 60-man roster means. Notably, if it gets to outbreak/quarantine stages, teams may have to go with several 15 to 20-man groups, rigidly separated, just to field a team through 10-14 day quarantine period. I wonder if we’ll begin seeing such subdivisions soon, given that some team may have to deal with 10-20 active positive cases.

    Haven’t gone back and looked, but what are the rules for calling up the 60th-90th players in the organization? What if 60 isn’t enough?

    • Doug Gray

      If there’s an “outbreak”, which I believe is as small as 3 players on a team, then those players can be replaced on the 60-man roster by new players, who can then be removed without penalty when the other players are ready to return.

      • Optimist

        Thanks – Alas, I’m not too optimistic if an “outbreak” gets into the 10-20 range. IIRC you also expressed doubts about the season continuing if a second wave materializes.

  4. Ivan Osokin

    So if someone on the active roster tests positive after the season starts, will everyone on the active roster (26 to 30 players) have to be quarantined? That would make for a 20 to 30 player call up from the 60 man roster leaving no extra players.

    • Doug Gray

      No. The rules are not written that way.

      • Tom Reeves

        There may be local quarantine rules that preempt the MLB rules as cities deal with rise in cases.

        Remember, pandemic lockdowns have the goal of immobilizing 90% of the population. Since the US enacts these rules on a state by state basis, it’s very likely some MLB cities will go back into lockdown for weeks. There also a chance a city or county may order a team to go into quarantine if a player tests positive.

        I’m still struggling to see how this season gets played.

      • VaRedsFan

        It’s really not that hard. Follow the rules, quarantine the infected, carry on playing with uninfected players. If you follow the rules, you shouldn’t become infected.

  5. Ivan Osokin

    And everyone from any teams that they have played?

  6. ClevelandRedsFan

    Any idea how this compares to other teams?

  7. Steven Chambers

    Chances are very good that these players have no symptoms and the testing is showing false positives too.

  8. Tomn

    Are workouts open to the public? Maybe that’s a stupid question in the age of Covid. Some of us are pretty hard up for baseball though.

  9. ClevelandRedsFan

    I saw videos today of:
    Votto
    Castillo
    Sonny
    Winker
    Ervin
    Shogo
    Also we know it’s not Tucker

    So we know it’s not any of them. We will know who it is not soon.

    • Grand Salami

      Mystery solved. It was Nick Esasky and Kal Daniels. Those rascals.

  10. RedNat

    for this season to truly function researchers are going to have to figure out if these players that test positive and display no symptoms are false positive patients or truly asymptomatic “carriers”. it would not make sense for a respiratory virus not to cause any symptoms because it would be unable to spread so I am leaning toward false positive.

    the only way to know would be to continue to test the players that test positive daily. lets say a player has a positive test followed by 3 negative tests and is displaying no symptoms , he can be assumed to be a false positive and could potentially return to the field and not have to sit out for 14 days

    • Doug Gray

      Once a player tests negative twice, they can come back. There is not a “time limit” on how long a player has to sit out.

      That said, asymptomatic people don’t “feel sick”, but some of them definitely have things going on that they don’t notice. There’s lung damage that’s being done in asymptomatic people that they simply aren’t aware of. This virus is real weird.

  11. MK

    They are jinxed. They make all the right moves and put themselves in a position to win it all and then the virus screws them in several ways.

  12. Charlie Waffles

    Could be an explanation as to why Derek Dietrich was left off the 60 man roster. He still lives in So. FL where the virus is rampant.