White Sox manager Rick Renteria passes coronavirus test, expected to rejoin team
Renteria woke up Monday with a slight cough and congestion and took no chances.
CLEVELAND — White Sox manager Rick Renteria woke up Monday with ‘‘a slight cough and nasal congestion’’ and took no chances. He would have missed the Sox’ rained-out game against the Indians while waiting for results of a coronavirus test.
The good news for Renteria, the Sox and baseball as a whole is that he tested negative, major-league sources said, and is expected back for thedoubleheader Tuesday.
The bad news is that baseball still is teetering in a swirl of growing concerns about the pandemic. As the Sox arrived in Cleveland to open a three-game series, two games scheduled Monday were postponed after more than a dozen Marlins players and staff members tested positive for the coronavirus in an outbreak that stranded the team in Philadelphia.
The Marlins’ home opener against the Orioles was called off, as was the Yankees-Phillies game. The Yankees would have been in the same clubhouse the Marlins used during the weekend.
‘‘Your thoughts and your prayers go out to everybody involved,’’ said Sox bench coach Joe McEwing, who was prepared to take over for Renteria on Monday. ‘‘Hopefully they’re healthy. We’re just focusing on what we’re doing, taking the correct measures to keep everyone as safe as we possibly can. As an organization and training staff, we’ve done a pretty good job so far.”
Renteria felt what he felt, and he and the Sox took no chances.
‘‘After consulting with our team doctors, Ricky underwent precautionary testing today at a Cleveland hospital,’’ general manager Rick Hahn said in a statement. ‘‘Out of an abundance of caution, Ricky will remain at the team hotel and not manage until we receive confirmation of today’s test result.’’
Hahn’s statement didn’t specify the testing was for the coronavirus, but a Sox spokesman said, ‘‘It’s a precaution due to the current circumstances.’’
Sox third baseman Yoan Moncada and right-hander Jose Ruiz tested positive for the virus during their intake. Both were asymptomatic, and Moncada played in the Sox’ first two games against the Twins. Right fielder Nomar Mazara is on the injured list for an unspecified reason.
‘‘It is a complicated situation for everybody,’’ Moncada said through a translator. ‘‘For the Marlins team, it has to be really tough passing through that situation right now. For us, it’s just a reminder that we have to take care of ourselves and follow all the protocols because it’s a very serious thing. We can’t mess around with it. We have to take all the precautions necessary to try to play as safe as we can.’’
That includes being smart on the road, where players are free to leave their hotel but must exercise good judgment.
‘‘We talked to them as a coaching staff, position players and pitchers,’’ McEwing said. ‘‘I believe that everybody is holding themselves accountable to put ourselves in the best position on the field on a daily basis.’’
While Moncada was asymptomatic, he loss his sense of taste and smell. That was more than enough to get his attention.
‘‘Everybody’s following the protocols,’’ Moncada said. ‘‘They know this is something very serious. It’s not something to mess around with. I can say for myself, it’s a very, very serious thing.’’
As Nationals manager Dave Martinez said, “I’m going to be honest with you: I’m scared.’’
But baseball appears determined to try to power through it.
‘‘Obviously, we don’t want any player to get exposed; it’s not a positive thing,’’ commissioner Rob Manfred told MLB Network. ‘‘But I don’t see it as a nightmare. We built the protocols to allow us to continue to play. That’s why we have the expanded rosters, the pool of additional players. And we think we can keep people safe and continue to play.’’