POSITIVES A NEGATIVE
Testing results show two unidentified Sox have coronavirus
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.’’
Sox manager Rick Renteria (right) talks with a group of pitchers Sunday at Guaranteed Rate Field.