Delino, Franmil test negative for COVID-19

July 8th, 2020

CLEVELAND -- The Indians are inching closer to having all 58 of the players in their 60-man player pool back on the field.

On Wednesday afternoon, manager Terry Francona said that outfielder ’ latest COVID-19 test came back negative, and he is expected to travel to Cleveland on Wednesday. He’ll have to go through another round of testing once he arrives, but if he tests negatively again, he’ll be able to join his team at camp.

“He was obviously excited,” Francona said. “Said he was planning on traveling like the Michelin Man today through the airport. He seemed like he was in really good spirits. That was good. I was kind of excited for him.”

DeShields tested positive for the coronavirus prior to the start of camp and remained in Arizona until the negative result. He experienced minor symptoms, including a loss of taste and smell.

As DeShields makes his way to camp, another outfielder has been thrown back into the mix. attended a Fourth of July event over the weekend without a mask, and the Indians asked him to remain home until he was tested to make sure he wouldn’t expose his teammates to the virus. Now that the results came back negative, he was able to attend practice on Wednesday.

“He’s coming in this afternoon by design because we wanted him to get some at-bats,” Francona said. “The morning guys don’t get at-bats. And we felt like after missing a couple of days, it would be really good for him to get at-bats this afternoon.”

Reyes may not have hit every single pitch he saw during batting practice over the fence the way he basically did during Spring Training earlier this year, but he flexed his muscles enough. He ended his first round by launching a bomb to the left-field concourse that bounced over the gate and rolled to a parking garage across the street from the ballpark.

The simulated games continue

Over the first few days of practice, the Indians have eased their pitchers and hitters into game-like situations with simulated games. Only half the positions on the field are filled in most of these cases, but guys are just trying to get the feel of a real contest. On Tuesday, Aaron Civale tossed four frames, but he wasn’t as sharp as the Tribe has seen him.

“He was OK,” Francona said. “And by his own account, he said, ‘I felt OK.’ He had a long first inning. I know we’re trying to prepare for the season, but certainly we don’t go on guys’ ERAs, even in Spring Training, let alone now. This is unique circumstances, and we’re going to have to adapt to that. But I thought the ball came out of his hand fine and everything. He wasn’t quite as crisp as we’ve seen.”

Intrasquads to begin Thursday

The Indians will be setting their first lineups since they played exhibition games in Goodyear, Ariz., back in March. The club will start playing intrasquad scrimmages to get some games under its belt. The first matchup is set for 7 p.m. ET on Thursday.

“Tomorrow’s game, I believe, is five innings,” Francona said. “It’s not because of the ramping up, it’ll be all on what we need pitching-wise. … We’ll try to adapt with the position players how much is enough and how much is too much, because we’ve got to get our pitching in. It’s not like you’re gonna see a four-inning game, a five-inning game, a six-inning game, a seven, you know what I mean? It’s probably gonna bounce around.”

What will 2020 be like?

Francona is trying not to predict too much of what this unique season will feel like, but he hasn’t been able to stop himself from wondering -- at least a little bit.

“It’s gonna be funny, because we’re playing in front of no people, which is gonna be different,” he said. “In fact, starting tomorrow they’re gonna start messing around with crowd noise or music just to see what feels right, because none of us know.”

While the team is doing its best to not get ahead of itself, Francona is simultaneously trying to prepare his players to have patience, despite how short the year will be.

Said Francona: "I was telling our guys, especially our infielders, ‘When the games start, it’s gonna be going fast. We can’t try to do too much. Teams are gonna give away games early because of the pace of the game. We can’t be that team. If you try to do too much, you’re gonna get yourself in trouble.’”