“Unfortunately this morning we had a player test positive for COVID,” Davey Martinez told reporters in his daily Zoom call with reporters in advance of tonight’s game in Chicago.
“The good news is he’s vaccinated, he’s asymptomatic. We went through contact tracing protocols, we have one other player that was in close contact, so he’s going to be out.
“He’s gotten tested, he’s getting tested, so we’ll wait to see what happens. Unfortunately that’s how we had to start our day off today.”
The player identified through contact tracing had not been vaccinated, Martinez confirmed.
“That player is not vaccinated. So he’s got — like I said, we got to follow MLB protocols.
“He won’t be with us and we’ll have to figure the rest of the stuff out and how much time he’s going to miss, but yeah, he’s not vaccinated.”
“He’s got to go through quarantine and he’ll miss I think it’s up to 10 days,” Martinez added.
The Nationals do have a taxi squad with them on the road, so they won’t be shorthanded, and while that’s obviously not the biggest concern, it is something that the club will sort through tonight.
“We’re working on some logistics,” Martinez said, as far as roster moves, “we haven’t made any moves yet, but it will come out shortly, but as of right now, after our media session I’m going to go down and sit down with [GM Mike Rizzo] and figure things out here.”
As far as the player who tested positive having been vaccinated, Martinez said, “I think the most important thing that we need to know is that these vaccinations are to help you not get as sick, or sick, and like I said, this player feels fine, and for me that’s good news. So, hopefully, we’ve got to follow MLB protocols, hopefully he goes through these protocols, he comes back and he’s fully healthy and ready to go.”
The fourth-year manager didn’t mention names of the players involved, but before the start of tonight’s game, the club announced they placed pitchers Erick Fedde and Tanner Rainey on the Injured List and recalled pitchers Paolo Espino and Kyle McGowin.
“It’s tough,” Martinez said of the reminder that we’re still in the midst of a pandemic. “Any time you lose a player to something like this, it’s always tough. The big concern is their health, and like I said, this player is healthy, he feels good, he has no symptoms, which is great.
“We got to understand, as we go through this, we’ve got to understand where we’re at.
“We’re much better now, than we were, obviously, a year ago today, or a few months ago today.
“With staying positive, most of our guys are vaccinated, they understand what’s going to transpire through all this, so we just got to keep pushing forward.”
His message for the team after another health-related issue, following a COVID outbreak before Opening Day that resulted in nine players and two staff members being placed in quarantine?
“Just stay — I told them, we’ve got to stay positive. And I make sure that they understand that the vaccination did help, that he’s not sick, and he feels fine.
“For whatever it’s worth, the player feels fine, he’s healthy, so we’ll get him back as soon as possible.”