BOSTON SPORTS WAVE

Red Sox COVID-19 Outbreak: Yairo Munoz Becomes Seventh Player to Test Positive; ‘It’s Gut-Wrenching,’ Chaim Bloom Says

The Red Sox now have seven players who have tested positive for COVID-19, as Yairo Munoz became the seventh Sox player to test positive for the virus. He joins Kiké Hernandez, Christian Arroyo, Martin Perez, Matt Barnes, Hirokazu Sawamura, Xander Bogaerts, and Josh Taylor on the COVID-19 related injured list. All of them tested positive except for Taylor.

To add to that, two coaches have also tested positive for the virus.

“It’s gut-wrenching,” said Red Sox president of baseball operations. “How else can you react? Every single one has been. We try to go to great lengths to keep these sorts of things from happening, and then to see what’s happening now, it’s really hard. This goes beyond baseball. We feel, and I certainly feel in the chair I sit in a lot of responsibility to every single person and every single in our travelling party in our organization.”

With the positive COVID tests, Boston has made a few roster moves. In addition, the roster has expanded to 28 players, instead of 26. It used to be 40 expanded to the entire 40-man roster, before the MLB cut it down to 28 players.

The Sox called up infielder Jack Lopez, who will be making his major-league debut tonight, and right-handed hurler John Schreiber. They have also reinstated utility-man Danny Santana and righty reliever Ryan Brasier from the injured list.

“There hasn’t been any word on that,” Bloom remarked when asked if Boston and Tampa Bay have thought about postponing the next two games between the clubs.

“We’re expecting to play,” he later added.

Lopez started the first five games of this season with Double-A Portland, before getting sent up to Triple-A Worcester where he’s hit .260/.321/.378 this season through 58 games. The 28-year-old infielder mainly plays second base, and has swatted three homers while he’s posted an 87 wRC+ this season.

Brasier is coming off of a broken pinky and the death of his father. He then suffered a concussion a couple months ago when he was close to coming back. He’ll finally return to the mound though in which the Red Sox need him. He’ll begin his fourth season with the club, as through 25 outings in 2020 he posted a 3.96 ERA. He was a key part in the 2018 World Series.

John Schreiber, who you may have saw this Spring Training, has had a solid season with the WooSox. The 28-year-old has posted a 3.10 ERA thorugh 28 outings (eight starts) with the team. The righty has posted a 6.28 ERA in 28 major-league outings with the Detroit Tigers through 2019 and 2020.

“I wish we knew,” said Bloom when he was asked about why and if he knew why the outbreak happening. “I think if we could pinpoint exactly why, it would’ve been easier to prevent. I don’t know if we’ll ever know exactly why. It’s obviously been something from Day 1 that we’ve been very concerned about, that we’ve worried about and we’ve known is possible.”

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

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