White Sox, Nationals, Pirates, D-backs, Cardinals announce positive tests for coronavirus

The Chicago White Sox, Washington Nationals, Pittsburgh Pirates and Arizona Diamondbacks all announced Sunday that two of their players have tested positive for the coronavirus and are in isolation.

The St. Louis Cardinals also announced that another one of their players tested positive.

Pirates manager Derek Shelton said Sunday that reliever Blake Cederlind and outfielder Socrates Brito have tested positive for the coronavirus. In a video conference call with reporters, Shelton thanked the two players for allowing him to use their names when announcing the news.

"Very much appreciated," Shelton said, according the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Very much respect the other people that we have who don't feel that it's necessary to talk about, but I think it is [important] for people to realize that it is real in the game."

The two players will be isolated and the team will conduct contact tracing, Shelton said. He said he could not discuss whether either player displayed symptoms of the illness, citing HIPAA regulations.

Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said that relief pitchers Silvino Bracho and Junior Guerra have both tested positive for COVID-19. The Diamondbacks had previously revealed that three players on the 40-man roster had tested positive, but Sunday was the first time any were identified. Lovullo said both players are doing well.

"The two guys I mentioned are asymptomatic and feel great," Lovullo said. "They're in the protocol, doing what they can and taking care of what they can at home and healing up."

Cardinals third baseman Elehuris Montero tested positive for COVID-19 but is asymptomatic, according to president of baseball operations John Mozeliak. On Saturday, Mozeliak announced that left-handers Ricardo Sanchez and Genesis Cabrera had tested positive. A few test results are still pending, according to Mozeliak.

The Oakland Athletics are also waiting for test results, but two projected members of the Athletics' starting rotation, ace Mike Fiers and Jesus Luzardo, were not on the field for a second straight day of summer camp because of what manager Bob Melvin called a "pending'' issue without elaborating, aside from saying it's not injury-related.

The team's first full-squad workout was pushed back from Sunday following the July 4 holiday given the club hadn't received results from position player intake testing done Friday, according to general manager David Forst.

"We all know that being flexible and adjusting to the unknowns is going to be part of everything we do this season,'' Forst said.

Fiers was the whistleblower of the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal who pitched his second career no-hitter last season. He and Luzardo were workout partners in Florida during the offseason and quarantine period.

The White Sox did not identify their two players, but said they are asymptomatic and that contact tracing for both was conducted. They are being monitored by team medical staff and will receive follow-up testing in the coming days. The team said both players requested privacy, meaning the team isn't able to comment further.

Nationals manager Dave Martinez said two players out of 60 tested turned up positive for the coronavirus on their team.

Martinez said the two players took their tests Wednesday before reporting to Nationals Park and that some are still awaiting their results. Reliever Sean Doolittle minutes earlier lamented not having his COVID-19 test results back from Friday and implored baseball to "clean this up."

Doolittle, who was part of Washington's World Series-winning team last season, said he is still debating whether to play this season, weighing safety concerns and physical and mental health.

"I think I'm planning on playing; but if at any point in this, I start to feel unsafe, if it starts to take a toll on my mental health with all these things that we have to worry about and just kinda of this cloud of uncertainty hanging over everything, then I'll opt out. But for now, I've prepared for the last three months like I'm gonna play. I feel ready to go," he said.

The 33-year-old said the Nationals still haven't received the respirator masks they were told were coming and expressed concerns about the situation.

"It's a little bit disorganized,'' Doolittle said. "We're not getting tests back in time. They still haven't sent us the PPE. We're supposed to have N95 masks, stuff like that, gowns, gloves. We're supposed to have that stuff, we don't have that stuff. Those are the things it's going to take for people to stay safe enough for us to continue this season.''

Doolittle also implored fans to take care of themselves and attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19 to make sure baseball and other sports can resume.

"Sports are like the reward of a functional society, and we're just like trying to bring it back even though we've taken none of the steps to flatten the curve or whatever you want to say,'' he said. "We did flatten the curve for a little bit, but we didn't use that time to do anything productive. We just opened back up for Memorial Day. We decided we're done with it.

"If there aren't sports, it's going to be because people are not wearing masks because the response to this has been so politicized. We need help from the general public. If they want to watch baseball, please wear a mask, social distance, keep washing your hands.''

He followed up his comments with a series of tweets:

Players who test positive will be allowed to return to baseball activities after they test negative twice and pass other appropriate COVID-19 protocols.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.