POS­I­TIVES A NEG­A­TIVE

Test­ing re­sults show two uniden­ti­fied Sox have coro­n­avirus

Chicago Sun-Times - - SPORTS - DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN dvan­schouwen@sun­times.com | @CST_­sox­van

Two White Sox play­ers, the iden­ti­ties of whom are be­ing kept pri­vate at their re­quest, have tested pos­i­tive for the coro­n­avirus, the team said Sun­day.

Both play­ers are asymp­to­matic and have been iso­lated in Chicago while be­ing mon­i­tored by Sox med­i­cal staff. The tests were flagged dur­ing the Sox’ in­take process, and nei­ther player had been in­side Guar­an­teed Rate Field for the first three days of camp in prepa­ra­tion for the ab­bre­vi­ated 60-game sea­son.

‘‘We were all kind of sur­prised,’’ man­ager Rick Ren­te­ria said. ‘‘The guys were asymp­to­matic, and we’ll pro­ceed with the pro­to­col now to get them back safely and back on the field.’’

Con­tact trac­ing was ad­min­is­tered, and each player will re­ceive fol­low-up test­ing. The play­ers can re­turn to base­ball ac­tiv­i­ties af­ter record­ing con­sec­u­tive neg­a­tive tests and pass­ing ap­pro­pri­ate coro­n­avirus pro­to­cols.

Me­dia mem­bers have had ac­cess to the Sox’ morn­ing work­outs but not to the ones in the af­ter­noon. On Sun­day morn­ing, Jose Abreu and Ed­win En­car­na­cion — who hadn’t par­tic­i­pated in work­outs the first two days while wait­ing for test re­sults — joined Tim An­der­son and Leury Gar­cia on the in­field, and

Luis Robert joined Eloy Jimenez and No­mar Mazara in the out­field. Catch­ers Yas­mani Gran­dal and Zack Collins were also among the po­si­tion play­ers work­ing out in the morn­ing.

Abreu’s fam­ily stayed home in Mi­ami. His de­ci­sion to play ball didn’t seem to be a dif­fi­cult one, de­spite the health risks.

‘‘It’s re­ally a very dif­fi­cult time for all of us with all this hap­pen­ing with the virus,’’ Abreu said through a trans­la­tor af­ter the work­out. ‘‘Each one of us has to make con­scious de­ci­sions and try to make the right one in every mo­ment be­cause it is a very dif­fi­cult time and we don’t know what we’re fac­ing.’’

Ren­te­ria said no player dis­cussed opt­ing out of the sea­son with him.

‘‘I made that de­ci­sion [to play] with my fam­ily,’’ Abreu said. ‘‘We thought about it, and we just de­cided this was the best op­tion for all of us. I am a very loyal per­son, as you know, and the White Sox have been loyal with me. I had to be loyal with them, es­pe­cially in this mo­ment.

‘‘In God’s hands, ev­ery­thing is

‘‘WE WERE ALL KIND OF SUR­PRISED. THE GUYS WERE ASYMP­TO­MATIC, AND WE’LL PRO­CEED WITH THE PRO­TO­COL NOW TO GET THEM BACK SAFELY AND BACK ON THE FIELD.’’ RICK REN­TE­RIA, Sox man­ager

go­ing to be good. That’s what we’re hop­ing for. Ev­ery­thing is go­ing to be good, and God is go­ing to pro­tect us. Just do the best we can in this sit­u­a­tion.’’

Play­ers, staff and front-of­fice mem­bers have been tested, with re­sults ar­riv­ing in stag­gered fash­ion.

‘‘The health of our play­ers and staff is our top pri­or­ity, and the White Sox are ad­her­ing to all MLB health and safety pro­to­cols,’’ the Sox said in mak­ing the an­nounce­ment.

Also Sun­day, two uniden­ti­fied Na­tion­als play­ers tested pos­i­tive and Car­di­nals prospect Ele­huris Mon­tero tested pos­i­tive but is asymp­to­matic. On Satur­day, the Braves an­nounced four play­ers tested pos­i­tive, in­clud­ing All-Star first base­man Fred­die Free­man. Other play­ers have opted out of play­ing this sea­son be­cause of health risks, in­clud­ing Dodgers vet­eran left-han­der David Price.

MLB an­nounced last week that 38 tests among more than 3,100 sam­ples were pos­i­tive, which was an en­cour­ag­ing yet in­com­plete re­port be­cause not all teams were in­cluded.

Ren­te­ria said he doesn’t think any of the other Sox know which play­ers tested pos­i­tive. Abreu said he hadn’t heard the news un­til he was asked about it dur­ing a Zoom call with me­dia.

‘‘They were iden­ti­fied, and the ap­pro­pri­ate mea­sures are be­ing taken to mon­i­tor and make sure they are, first of all, feel­ing healthy and clear of any ef­fects of it,’’ Ren­te­ria said. ‘‘And then they will con­tinue to be tested un­til they are neg­a­tive and able to come back to us.

‘‘It was more in the pre-en­try, so ev­ery­thing that was sup­posed to be done be­fore guys got here was done. The test­ing is work­ing.’’

MARK BLACK/AP

Sox man­ager Rick Ren­te­ria (right) talks with a group of pitch­ers Sun­day at Guar­an­teed Rate Field.

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