Minor-league rehab assignments are limited to 20 days, in part so that teams can’t simply stash veteran players in the minors indefinitely. In some cases, however, an injury lingers longer than 20 days and things become tricky.
That’s happening with Mariners outfielder Franklin Gutierrez, whose hamstring injury remains an issue after 20 days in the minors. Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times reports that he’ll be examined by a doctor and then the Mariners will petition MLB for the right to have Gutierrez begin a second 20-day rehab assignment.
All of which seems mostly like a formality–MLB isn’t going to force Gutierrez to return from the disabled list when he’s clearly not fully healthy–but the bigger point is that injuries continue to wreck the once-promising center fielder’s career.
On Friday evening, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association announced the first set of results for COVID-19 testing as part of the mandatory intake screening process under MLB’s COVID-19 Health Monitoring & Testing Plan. Per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Athletics are not part of this data because their testing has not yet been completed.
There were 38 positive tests, accounting for 1.2% of the 3,185 samples collected and tested. 31 of the 38 individuals who tested positive are players. 19 different teams had one or more individuals test positive.
Sports Illustrated’s Emma Baccellieri notes that the positive test rate in the U.S. nationally is 8.3 percent. The NBA’s positive test rate was 7.1 percent. MLB’s positive test rate is well below average. This doesn’t necessarily mean that anything is wrong with MLB’s testing or that it’s an atypical round of testing. Rather, MLB’s testing population may more closely represent the U.S. population as a whole. Currently, because testing is still somewhat limited, those who have taken tests have tended to be those exhibiting symptoms or those who have been around others who have tested positive. If every single person in the U.S. took a test, the positive test rate would likely come in at a much lower number.
Several players who tested positive have given their consent for their identities to be made known. Those are: Delino DeShields (link), Brett Martin (link), Edward Colina, Nick Gordon, and Willians Astudillo (link). Additionally, Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodríguez has not shown up to Red Sox camp yet because he has been around someone who tested positive, per The Athletic’s Jen McCaffrey.