10:00pm: Meadows offered Topkin an encouraging update via text, writing: “The first couple days I was pretty fatigued and some mild cold symptoms. But feeling ready to go now.” There’s no known timetable for his return, though.
8:01pm: The Rays have placed outfielder Austin Meadows on the injured list as a result of a positive COVID-19 test, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. The club has also added left-handed reliever Aaron Loup to its 40-man roster.
Meadows has been absent from workouts since last week, so this isn’t necessarily a stunning development. Nevertheless, it’s certainly disheartening to see another positive test confirmation. It’s unclear whether Meadows is exhibiting any symptoms at the moment, but he’ll need to show he’s asymptomatic and test negative for the illness twice in a 24-hour span before he’s eligible to return to the Rays.
When he is able to come back, Meadows will try to build on an exemplary first season with the Rays. The 25-year-old emerged as one of the sport’s brightest young talents last season, hitting .291/.364/.558 with 33 home runs and 12 stolen bases en route to an All-Star nod.
Loup, 32, joined the Rays on a minor league contract in February. His 2019 season, which he spent with San Diego, was largely a wash because of elbow problems that limited him to 3 1/3 innings. Loup has typically been reliable throughout his career, though, having recorded a 3.45 ERA with 8.39 K/9, 2.76 BB/9 and a 54.3 percent groundball rate over 326 frames since he debuted with the Blue Jays in 2012.