An outbreak of COVID-19 in the Cleveland ranks, including a positive result from manager Terry Francona, forced Major League Baseball to postpone the final game of a series between the Guardians and White Sox on Wednesday so that further testing and tracing could be done. contacts.
This is the first postponement due to the coronavirus this season, which began on April 7.
MLB released a statement mentioning “multiple positive tests for COVID-19” within the Cleveland team.
Francona, who has dealt with serious health issues the past two seasons, tested positive hours before first pitch. The team said the 63-year-old driver had no symptoms.
Bench coach DeMarlo Hale, who filled in for Francona when he was called out last season, was set to coach in the closing game. But he too has tested positive, as have multiple coaches and other employees, according to Guardians spokesman Bart Swain.
The Guardians will have a bye Thursday before kicking off a three-game series at Minnesota on Friday. It’s not clear at this time who will manage the team, and the Guardians will likely have to use multiple minor league coaches and field coordinators for the series.
The Cleveland campus was recently affected by cases of coronavirus. Infielders Owen Miller and Yu Chang, in addition to pitchers Cal Quantrill and Anthony Castro, were placed on the COVID-19 casualty list.
Francona had not suffered any ill health this season after two difficult years. During a season shortened by the pandemic, he managed just 14 games in 2020 before being hospitalized for gastrointestinal problems.
Last year, Francona struggled with the aftermath of offseason foot surgery and had to leave the team in July.
Francona is in his 10th season with Cleveland. He won two World Series with the Boston Red Sox.