10:45am: Astros GM James Click issued the following statement on today’s cancellation:
The safety of our players and staff remains our top priority at the Astros. The team is still awaiting results from the COVID-19 tests taken on Friday. Due to the delay in receiving these results, coupled with the contagious nature of the virus, we felt it was prudent to cancel today’s workouts at Minute Maid Park and the University of Houston. Players and staff continue to participate fully in the screening and testing protocols while we await these results. Despite these delays over the holiday weekend, we’re optimistic that this process will be ironed out and we’ll be back on the field and ready to compete for a championship soon.
10:10am: The Astros have canceled this morning’s workout due to delays in the results from their COVID-19 intake testing, Jake Kaplan of The Athletic reports (via Twitter). They’re the second team to do so, joining the Nationals. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets that the Astros, like the Nats, have yet to receive their results from last week’s initial wave of testing. Kaplan and Ken Rosenthal add that the Astros weren’t tested either Saturday or Sunday but are expected to be tested again today.
At this point, it seems that the logistical challenges in mass testing are greater than MLB had anticipated. Through only three official days of “Summer Camp” we’ve now seen at least two teams cancel workouts due to a lack of test results, with others still possible given the snafus surrounding the Angels (whose testers didn’t show over the weekend) and Athletics (whose test results reportedly weren’t shipped on time by MLB and CDT).
Breakdowns like this in the testing cycle might be able to be overcome during Summer Camp as the league irons out its processes, but this is clearly a detriment both to avoiding broad-reaching infections and to readying for the tentative 2020 season. Today’s struggles also more loudly raise the question of what would happen if such an instance were to occur once the season is underway. It’s likely that games would need to be delayed or postponed absent the most recent testing data for a given team, and with the league aiming for 60 games in a span of 65 days, the margin for error is quite thin.