The Red Sox had multiple players test positive for COVID-19 this week, and those players were not allowed to take part in Friday’s workout at Fenway Park.
Citing instructions from Major League Baseball, the team would not identify the players or specify how many tested positive.
“We didn’t have everybody come in,” manager Ron Roenicke said. “We do have some positive tests. I won’t be able to give you names on these players.”
Another player, lefthander Eduardo Rodriguez, remains home in Florida after being exposed to a person who was ill.
“He wanted to make sure he was fine,” Roenicke said. “We have tested him. We don’t have the results back yet. When we get those results, obviously, you’ll know. Eddie was fine with me telling you that.”
Roenicke further said he doesn’t want reporters to ask about testing.
“If somebody tests positive as we go through this training camp, we’ll try to let you know,” he said. “But I don’t want to talk about this every day.”
Roenicke also said some players may have to be held out a day after being tested, and he doesn’t want that to become a topic.
“It’s going to come up every day,” said the manager. “We’re tested all the time. It’ll be a little cleaner I think if we just leave it this way. If something does come through camp, I’ll let you guys know.”
McHugh is ready
Had the season started on time, righthander Collin McHugh would have been on the injured list recovering from an elbow injury. But with Opening Day now on July 23 or 24 — the schedule is still not out — he could be ready to go.
“I feel pretty comfortable moving forward from here,” he said.
McHugh signed with the Sox on March 5, a week before spring training was shut down.
McHugh was 48-28 with a 3.70 earned run average in 102 starts for Houston from 2014–17. When he went into the bullpen in 2018, his ERA dropped and his strikeout rate climbed.
The Astros moved McHugh back into the rotation last season, but the injury limited him to eight starts.
McHugh said it’s too early to say what role he will take on, but it seems unlikely he could build up enough innings before the season starts. With the Sox potentially using an opener for one rotation spot, McHugh’s experience could serve the team well.
As a member of the MLB Players Association executive subcommittee, McHugh had a front-row seat for the failed negotiations that led to commissioner Rob Manfred implementing a 60-game season.
“We put a lot of time and a lot of effort into trying to make an agreement with the league,” he said. “The logistics made it a little bit more difficult, both on MLB’s side and the players’ side. I think everybody would have hoped we could reach an agreement. At the end of the day, both sides weren’t able to.”
McHugh said many of the proposals were made with the expectation that fans would not be able to attend games this season. Now a number of teams, including the Red Sox, have said they hope fans will be allowed in at some point.
“It does kind of fly in the face of the premises we were negotiating on,” he said. “To that point, it is a little frustrating. If that was the mindset the whole time we probably could have gone down a different path.”
At Giants camp, righthander Jeff Samardzija didn’t hold back on that topic.
“I think there’s going to be fans in the stands,” he said. “I think we’ve seen with these owners, they’re not scared of anything, and they’re not scared to put anyone at risk if they get the opportunity to, especially if it makes them money.”
New pitching coach Dave Bush said the primary starters — Rodriguez, Nate Eovaldi, and Martin Perez — should be able to go five or six innings when the season starts based on the work they have done to this point. The Sox are planning on a five-man rotation. Ryan Weber is positioned to claim the No. 4 slot. The final spot is uncertain … Along with Fenway, the Sox will use the field at Boston College on Friday, primarily for pitchers doing defensive drills and some younger position players … Live batting practice is scheduled to start next Friday … As was the case in spring training, Jason Varitek is with the coaching staff and worked with the catchers on fundamentals.