Sat., Sun. games PPD, 2 players test positive

April 18th, 2021

Both the Saturday and Sunday games between the Twins and the Angels were postponed to allow for further testing and contact tracing for COVID-19 issues within the Twins’ organization.

A day after a member of the Twins’ traveling party tested positive for COVID-19, the ballclub experienced more setbacks that were announced by manager Rocco Baldelli during a pregame media conference on Saturday. Outfielder Kyle Garlick tested positive for COVID-19 along with another player who did not consent for his test to be public. The newer COVID-19 issues did reshuffle the Twins’ planned lineup for Saturday’s ballgame, according to Baldelli.

The Twins received the news prior to the scheduled 8:07 p.m. CT start to Saturday’s game. They cleared the clubhouse of all players and staff while they communicated with Major League Baseball to determine the next step. Some members of the organization went through testing on-site at Angel Stadium. Some of the results were still unknown during Baldelli’s media conference following the postponement.

Baldelli said some of the early tests came back negative, but added that the team will continue to be tested as they await the next steps before receiving further word from Major League Baseball.

“We’re still finishing that [testing] as we speak and we’re waiting for the rest of the results,” Baldelli said. “So far on those tests, we have not had anyone else come back positive … which is good, of course. It’s still a difficult time, and we all know the timelines on these things if someone had been exposed are not necessarily immediate.”

With players consenting to having their test results released, the Twins’ manager said there should not be any blame for players who do test positive.

“I think it's our job to make sure that that guilt is not present,” Baldelli said. “And if it is present, to talk through it. I think that that is a very fair question. And something that is real, like, we can talk about all of these hypotheticals or talk about things at a surface level, but we are going to have guys that think that they let people down in one way, shape or form.”

Baldelli said the individuals who have tested positive have not displayed any serious symptoms.

“I think we’re talking things like just some general fatigue and headache, scratchy throat or cough is basically what we’re talking about at this point. Nothing beyond that luckily,” he said.

On Friday, a Twins staffer on the traveling party tested positive, and subsequently contact tracing was conducted. Five members of the Twins' traveling party have been away from the stadium and team hotel after the one unspecified member of the organization tested positive. Shortstop Andrelton Simmons was placed on the COVID injured list on Wednesday after it was announced that he tested positive.

Baldelli said with the COVID-19 issues arising, he is not making assumptions about how the situation may develop.

“I personally jump to no conclusions. And I don't think anyone in our group after everything we've seen should assume anything,” he said. “I think we have to just be as aware as we possibly can going forward and react as well and as thoughtfully and quickly as we can when things do happen.”

Worth noting

• Outfielder Brent Rooker was listed in Baldelli's unofficial starting lineup before Saturday's postponed game. Rooker was placed on the 10-day IL on April 7 with a cervical strain and had not yet been activated.

• Lefty Devin Smeltzer was selected from the taxi squad on Saturday, which sent fellow left-handed pitcher Lewis Thorpe back to the taxi squad following his four-inning start in Friday’s game.