There were rumors earlier today that if the Cincinnati Reds had further negative tests on Sunday that they would play a doubleheader on Monday against the Pittsburgh Pirates to make up the two games that were postponed on Saturday and Sunday due to a Reds player testing positive for COVID-19. That, however, has been decided that it won’t happen. Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette appears to be the first to report that the doubleheader would not be happening on Monday.
Pirates will not play a doubleheader Monday in Cincinnati. Not yet clear why.
— Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) August 16, 2020
About thirty minutes after that, Mackey reported that the doubleheader was off, again, but with information from the Pirates manager Derek Shelton.
“Major League Baseball has decided protocol-wise that they did not want us to play Monday,” Shelton said on a Zoom call with local reporters. “What goes into that decision happens a lot higher than me. They just informed us that we’re not going to play Monday, and we’ll reschedule.”
Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that no additional positive tests came from the Reds on Saturday, clarifying the report from Jon Heyman in the morning that “all players tested yesterday were negative, boding well for their return next week” which left open a lot of weird potential given the wording used.
No additional positives is good news, but it’s also not news that tells us a ton, either. As we’ve seen with both the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals, it can take over a week after the initial player testing positive and the team “shutting things down” before others on the team stop testing positive. The Cardinals, for example, hadn’t played a game in the month of August until Saturday, but had a coach test positive on Thursday, nearly two full weeks later. It’s certainly possible he had caught the virus elsewhere after things were shut down, but he was known to be around the team that ultimately had an outbreak, too.
There is no word at this point as to when the team will play next. What we do know is that Major League Baseball and the Reds are going to continue testing the players, and monitoring the results. Their next scheduled game is on Tuesday against the Kansas City Royals. If the Reds were to return to play that game, it would be, by far, the quickest turnaround time for any team that has had to sit out due to a positive test thus far – and quicker than the Philadelphia Phillies returned after their series against the Marlins was wiped out and they had to continue waiting and testing negative before they were able to return to the field a full week later.