Cubs first-base coach Craig Driver tests positive for COVID-19
No other member of the Cubs’ traveling party is considered a close contact of Driver. All test results have come back negative.
PITTSBURGH — Cubs first-base and catching coach Craig Driver has tested positive for COVID-19. Driver didn’t travel with the team to Pittsburgh as a precaution, remaining in Chicago as he continues to recover.
According to the Cubs, their contact tracing determined no one in their traveling party was a close contact.
All testing done Wednesday, Thursday and Friday on the Cubs’ traveling party came back negative. Quality-assurance coach Mike Napoli will serve as the first-base coach for the rest of the road trip.
The Cubs had another round of tests done Saturday and will go through another round Sunday.
‘‘I definitely think that it’s something that is an eye-opener, for sure,’’ manager David Ross said. ‘‘I think there have been a couple of eye-openers to start the season around baseball. It should hit home . . . that this is still a very serious pandemic that we’re in. We have to continue to stay diligent in all that we do.’’
‘‘It’s something that’s on our minds every other day with testing and every day with masks and with social distancing,’’ second baseman David Bote said. ‘‘It’s obviously just another thing of, like, you can do everything right and still get it, stuff like that. It’s just been what we’re dealing with the last couple of years, and it’s just part of it. So you’re just finding a way to be aware of it and move on the best you can.’’
The news of Driver’s positive test comes as the Cubs still are working to get 85% of their Tier 1 personnel vaccinated. It has been a slow process for the Cubs to reach Major League Baseball’s threshold for lessened protocols, but having a member of the coaching staff affected might expedite the process.
‘‘We’re at the mercy of this thing a lot of the time, so the more guys we can get vaccinated . . . I mean, really, the goal is 100%, right?’’ Ross said. ‘‘Let’s be honest, the goal should be 100%. So that’s what we’re shooting for.
‘‘Each person has their own views and things, but we’re just continuing to try to educate and encourage them as much as we can to get vaccinated.’’
Caratini involved in another no-hitter
Padres right-hander Joe Musgrove tossed MLB’s latest no-hitter Friday against the Rangers, but the Cubs have had a connection to the last two no-hitters in baseball.
Former Cubs catcher Victor Caratini was behind the plate for Musgrove’s no-no and made history in the process. He also caught Cubs right-hander Alec Mills’ no-hitter against the Brewers on Sept. 13 of last season and became the first catcher in MLB history to catch back-to-back no-hitters with different teams.
‘‘I did text him, and he texted me back,’’ Ross said. ‘‘I was super-happy for him. I saw the emotion on his face, jumping up and hugging Joe, seemed really neat. . . . First one ever [for] San Diego. To have all those things and for Vic to be a part of that, I know how special that is as a catcher. I definitely had to fire him a text and was super-happy for him.’’