J-Ram, Reyes ready to move on from 'lapse'
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Indians are ready to move forward from the recent issues the team ran into with Franmil Reyes and José Ramírez breaking COVID-19 protocols, and so are the two players.
Ramírez and Reyes addressed the media before and after Wednesday’s 4-2 loss to the Angels at Goodyear Ballpark for the first time since they were forced to quarantine after eating inside of a restaurant on Friday night.
“Obviously, we're not allowed to do it indoors,” Ramírez said through team interpreter Agustin Rivero. “And that's what happened. We just wanted to have dinner.”
Reyes explained that Ramírez asked him to go to dinner at a restaurant near the ballpark. Ramírez later asked if Pedro Strop of the Cubs lived nearby and Strop invited them over. Reyes got a haircut at Strop’s house from a barber who was Strop’s friend from Chicago and living at the house.
“In my mind, because Pedro is following the same protocols of MLB, I thought it was going to be fine,” Reyes said. “Because I'm living with my family here. In that house, it was just the barber and [Strop's] brother.”
Reyes posted a picture -- which has since been deleted -- with Strop on Instagram.
“When I posted I never thought I was going to do something bad for the team,” Reyes said. “That was not my intention. I thought it was going to be good because Pedro was following the same protocols."
The Tribe was at least pleased that the two took it upon themselves to report that they had broken protocols, rather than finding out through any other party, which Ramírez said they valued.
“No, we came forward,” Ramírez said. “We assumed the responsibility. We talked to them. We were very proactive about it.”
Indians manager Terry Francona said that any other punishments -- other than having to be away from the team for three days -- would be kept in-house, but Ramírez said that the duo weren’t disciplined any further.
“Yeah, I apologized to [the team],” Ramírez said. “After all, it was just going out for a dinner after a game. When it happened, it was a lapse on my end. But I talked to them, I apologized, they understood and we moved forward.”
“I really, really feel terrible about what happened,” Reyes said. “It was not cool at all. I love my team. I love my teammates. You all know me. It was not my intention to do this, honestly. I apologized to my teammates. I want their trust back. I know they trust me. We know everything is going to be good. We didn't do this on purpose.”
On Wednesday, Ramírez and Reyes were penciled back into a lineup that could be very similar to what the Tribe will look like on Opening Day.
“I'm excited to play a full season and be around my teammates,” Ramírez said. “It's a great group of guys. And I'm really excited to be able to play in front of fans again."
Collins hit with bat
In the seventh inning against the Angels, Josh Naylor accidentally let go of his bat in the middle of his swing. The bat flew into the Tribe’s dugout and struck a Minor League trainer in the shoulder and backstop Gavin Collins in the back. Francona relayed that both said they were OK.
The Indians are still without outfielder Jordan Luplow, who sprained his ankle in the first few days of Spring Training while taking live batting practice. He received an injection in his ankle last week and was cleared to partake in more activities on Wednesday.
“He is upping his intensity today,” Francona said. “He's going to go through a pretty rigorous day and we'll see how he comes in tomorrow. He's not ready to play tomorrow, but I mean, he is upping his intensity today.”
Another "B" game on the schedule
The Indians have been taking advantage of their ability to play "B" games against the neighboring Reds. After hosting a "B" game on Wednesday, the team put another one on the schedule for its off-day on Sunday.
“That’s [Aaron] Civale’s day to pitch,” Francona said. “And then we’ll use players from the depth camp because their off-day is on Monday. So, we’ll still give guys a day off. We can still do the 'B' game, keep our pitching in order and just need to make sure we’re coordinated on about nine different things, but we’ll make sure we got it.”