The Red Sox have rocked gently in a protected harbor the last four weeks, holding practices and games at Fenway Park largely protected from the coronavirus.
Of the four players who tested positive only Eduardo Rodriguez had symptoms. The other three — Bobby Dalbec, Darwinzon Hernandez, and Josh Taylor — are now working out with the reserve team in Pawtucket.
The safety measures at Fenway have so far worked as planned. The tricky part starts Wednesday when the Sox go on the road for seven games.
The team is scheduled to stay at a midtown Manhattan hotel for five nights to play two games against the Mets then three against the Yankees. Then comes a two-game series at Tampa Bay.
It’s an anxious time.
“I would say so,” said righthander Nate Eovaldi, the scheduled starter on Wednesday. “I feel like everybody’s been really comfortable [at Fenway]. I feel like the Red Sox have been doing a great job of keeping us safe … you don’t really know what to expect on the road.”
Manager Ron Roenicke said he’s sure some players and others in the traveling party are edgy.
“It’s unknown. We don’t know what it’s going to be like,” he said.
An outbreak of COVID-19 among the Miami Marlins while the team was in Philadelphia over the weekend caused their games to be postponed through at least Sunday. The Yankees-Phillies series in Philadelphia this week also was postponed.
The Red Sox, while not directly affected, have been following the situation.
“Nervous, concerned. It’s not ideal,” first baseman Mitch Moreland said.
The Sox are planning to fly to Florida on Sunday night after the series finale against the Yankees. There was some consideration given to staying in New York an extra day to avoid a day off in Florida, where cases of COVID-19 have surged in recent weeks.
But the Sox believe the players, coaches and staff will be safe at the team hotel in St. Petersburg, Fla.
“We know New York is doing well right now with COVID and we know when we get to Florida from there it’s a little different story,” Roenicke said. “We’ll probably approach that a little bit differently and a little more cautiously.”
In both New York and Florida, meals will be made available to the players at the hotel. The team also will arrange for six bus trips to the stadium at staggered times to promote social distancing in an enclosed space.
“For the most part it’s going to be stay at the hotel and try not to do too much,” Eovaldi said.
Roenicke is not too concerned about his own well being on the road. But as other teams face issues, the safety of his players weighs on his mind.
“I feel good about how we’re traveling,” he said. “Everything is going to be planned out to do this the best we can. It’s not perfect. But we think we’re going about it the right way.”
No advance look
In a normal season Mets ace Jacob deGrom would have watched Tuesday’s game from the bench and taken notes on the Red Sox hitters in preparation for his start against them on Wednesday night at Citi Field.
But the Mets left deGrom back in New York along with Steven Matz, who starts Thursday.
DeGrom has faced the Sox twice in his career, the last time on Sept. 16, 2018 at Fenway. He allowed three runs on five hits over seven innings and struck out 12 with one walk in a no-decision.
“I’m not too disappointed not to be facing him,” said Eovaldi, who will not have to bat in the National League park with the universal designated hitter in use this season.
Andrew Benintendi batted ninth for the first time since he was a rookie in 2016. He was 0 for 2 in the 8-3 loss with two walks and is 1 for 16 on the season. Michael Chavis was 0 for 2 and is hitless in 23 at-bats going back to last season ... Teams are allowed a three-player taxi squad for road games this season, one mandated to be a catcher. The Sox will bring Jett Bandy to New York but leave the other two spots open with Pawtucket close enough to get a replacement if needed … Both Hernandez and Taylor are into a throwing program in Pawtucket. Taylor pitched live batting practice on Tuesday and Hernandez is scheduled for the same on Wednesday. They will need several rounds of that and at least one simulated game before joining the major league team. The Sox want both lefthanders to be able go multiple innings, Hernandez perhaps as many as three or four.
Peter Abraham can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.