White Sox 1B/DH Paul Konerko vows to return before the end of the season, saying “I’ll finish on the field,” via Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune. Konerko added, “I don’t care if I go up there and take three pitches and strike out, I’ll finish on the field.” In fact, the 38-year-old veteran seems rather optimistic, saying that returning for only the final series at home would be a “worst-case scenario.”
Konerko suffered a fracture in the sesamoid bone in his left hand applying a tag on Twins SS/CF Danny Santana following a bunt in the eighth inning on Tuesday. Konerko, who has played in parts of 18 seasons in the major leagues, has posted subpar offensive numbers, slashing .220/.272/.344 with five home runs and 22 RBI in 202 plate appearances.
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.