The final week of Spring Training is usually full of roster juggling, as teams get their squads set for Opening Day. In the Red Sox case, however, things took an unexpected turn just days before the club is scheduled to begin the season.
On Saturday morning, manager Alex Cora told reporters relief pitcher Matt Barnes has tested positive for COVID-19. The 30-year-old is asymptomatic, according to Cora.
With the positive test, the Red Sox have been thrown into a whirlwind of contact tracing. “With the guidelines and the protocols, it’s a fire drill now,” Cora told reporters.
Fellow reliever Matt Andriese has been separated from the team to quarantine due to his close contact with Barnes. It’s not known how many other players could follow suit.
This is the second time in as many days the Red Sox have lost a key pitcher for the start of the season. Eduardo Rodriguez was scratched from his Opening Day start on Friday due to ‘dead arm,’ and could end up starting the season on the IL, per MassLive’s Chris Cotillo.
The Red Sox still have four more Spring Training games in Fort Myers before returning to Boston for the start of the regular season. They’re set to host the Orioles on Thursday for Opening Day.
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.