Blue Jays right fielder Randal Grichuk narrowly avoided a gruesome outcome during Sunday’s game against the Indians. In the fourth inning, Brandon Guyer lofted a foul ball to right field, prompting both Grichuk and first baseman Justin Smoak to chase it down. As they approached the wall, the security guard sitting along the first base line grabbed his stool and had started to get out of the way when Grichuk came sliding in to make the catch and inadvertently collided with the edge of the chair.
Both men immediately fell to the ground as Grichuk made contact with the stool, and he was quickly helped off the field with what appeared to be a facial injury of some kind. While the Blue Jays have yet to announce an official diagnosis, the outfielder was evaluated for a concussion after exiting the game and is expected to undergo follow-up imaging to his face in order to determine whether he sustained any fractures in the collision.
Following the incident, Billy McKinney shifted from left to right field and Teoscar Hernandez was brought in to cover the empty spot in the lineup. Grichuk went 0-for-2 with a pair of strikeouts against Cleveland right-hander Mike Clevinger before making his eventual departure in the fourth. The 27-year-old is batting .247/.303/.488 with 21 home runs and a .791 OPS over 403 plate appearances this year.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported last night that Major League Baseball is “actively pursuing an additional medical lab site to increase the speed and efficiency” of MLB COVID-19 tests.
The current setup — as planned by MLB and approved by the MLBPA as a part of the plan to play the 2020 season — is for all MLB COVID-19 tests to be sent to and processed by MLB’s PED testing lab in Salt Lake City, Utah. As you likely heard, there have been delays in the administration of COVID-19 tests and in the shipping of tests to Utah, but to date no one has reported that the lab itself has not been able to handle the tests once they’ve arrived there. If MLB is looking for a second lab site a week into this process, it suggests that their plans for the Utah lab might not be working the way they had anticipated.
The issues with testing have created unease around the game in recent days, with some players and team executives speaking out against Major League Baseball’s handling of the plan in the early going. Commissioner Rob Manfred, meanwhile, has responded defensively to the criticism.
Meanwhile, the New York Times reported this morning that, months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States still lacks testing capacity. From the report:
Lines for coronavirus tests have stretched around city blocks and tests ran out altogether in at least one site on Monday, new evidence that the country is still struggling to create a sufficient testing system months into its battle with Covid-19 . . .“It’s terrifying, and clearly an evidence of a failure of the system,” said Dr. Morgan Katz, an infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins Hospital . . . in recent weeks, as cases have surged in many states, the demand for testing has soared, surpassing capacity and creating a new testing crisis.
It’s less than obvious, to say the least, how Major League Baseball plans to expand capacity for MLB COVID-19 tests while America as a whole is experiencing “a new testing crisis” and a “failure of the system.” At the very least it’s less than obvious how, even if Major League Baseball can do so, it can do so ethically.