CLEVELAND – As the Indians and the rest of the Major League Baseball prepare to begin a condensed season after a freeze due to the coronavirus pandemic, Cleveland Indians president Chris Antonetti confirmed that some Indians players tested positive for COVID-19, but said that all cases were isolated.
Antonetti did not specify which players tested positive, but said there were isolated cases in players who were at home, some who were in the Dominican Republic and some at the Goodyear facility.
As the cases were isolated, Antonetti said there was no spread among the organization’s players.
All the players who tested positive for COVID-19 have either made a full recovery or are now only mild cases, Antonetti said.
Representatives said the Indians are working closely with the league to ensure that all best practices and protocols are followed as teams prepare to report the training camps on July 1.
From that protocol, rigorous testing of both players and staff will be implemented throughout the shortened 60-game season, which is expected to start on July 23 or 24.
Antonetti said there will be levels for players and staff, with the first level encompassing players at Progressive Field practicing for the season, the second level being prepared remotely at another separate location, and the development players making up the third. level and receive training remotely.
Players and staff in the first two levels, those involved in daily operations entering the training camp, will go through an admission exam, tests upon arrival and will not be able to enter the camp if they test positive, Antonetti said.
Those who test positive will have to be quarantined. Antonetti assumed that the quarantine would likely last for 14 days, but could not confirm the exact duration. Frequent testing will continue throughout the season to ensure the health of all players and staff, Antonetti said.
Due to the risk that COVID-19 presents to members of the organization, players and staff alike, Indians have given the option that people, especially those who are most at risk, not participate in this season. year. Antonetti said that at this time he does not know of any Indian players who have chosen not to participate, but said that some staff members have chosen not to participate in this year’s season.
The President of the Indians described what the different training camps will look like this season to keep players healthy and safe, with examples ranging from players working in “groups” and small groups, having more outdoor activities and workouts. , which are used by both local and local clubs. keep players dispersed and players using their own baseballs during practice.
Antonetti said he was hopeful that the protocols implemented in his organization and throughout MLB would be extensive enough to ensure that the season can take place.
He said the players have taken things very seriously and are ready to go.
Despite the difficult process to restart the season, Antonetti said the Indians remain positive and use the pandemic and the experiences that have resulted from it as a way to grow as an organization.
“It reaffirms for all of us our love for baseball and how much we miss it,” said Antonetti. “I think we won’t take it for granted when we get back together and start playing again.”