The Nationals have canceled their Monday morning workouts due to delays in Major League Baseball’s COVID-19 testing processes, general manager Mike Rizzo announced this morning. Rizzo issued the following statement:
Per MLB’s protocol, all players and staff were tested for Covid-19 on Friday, July 3rd. Seventy-two hours later, we have yet to receive the results of those tests. We cannot have our players and staff work at risk. Therefore, we have cancelled out team workout scheduled for this morning. We will not sacrifice the health and safety of our players, staff and their families. Without accurate and timely testing it is simply not safe for us to continue with Summer Camp. Major League Baseball needs to work quickly to resolve issues with their process and their lab. Otherwise, Summer Camp and the 2020 Season are at risk.
The Nationals are just one of several clubs experiencing delays in receiving the results of their COVID-19 intake testing. The Athletics’ test samples didn’t arrive at MLB’s lab in Salt Lake City until 1:30am MST today, Shayna Rubin of the San Jose Mercury News reported. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal tweeted that testers who were assigned to the Angels and two other, yet-unknown clubs simply didn’t show over the weekend.
The Nats have already had three players — Ryan Zimmerman, Joe Ross and non-roster invitee Welington Castillo — opt out of playing in 2020. Closer Sean Doolittle has been outspoken about his conflicted feelings on the matter and the need for improved health-and-safety and testing protocols. Doolittle revealed yesterday that while he’s already been tested a second time, he’s still not received the results from his first test. That does not appear to have changed in the 24 hours since that revelation.