Rockies catcher Elias Diaz was sent home to Denver by the club after violating Covid-19 protocols “around the team hotel in Houston,” Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports. Diaz was placed on the restricted list for unspecified reasons Monday, with manager Bud Black only publicly divulging that Diaz “violated some team protocols, some guidelines.” Specifics surrounding Diaz’s violations aren’t known, but the Rox have been able to continue playing. Saunders adds that the club has continued its standard testing regiment and has not incurred an issue.
Diaz, 29, inked a minor league contract with the Rockies over the winter and made the club’s Opening Day roster as a backup to Tony Wolters. He’s appeared in just three games thus far, going 3-for-12 with a double. Unlike the situation in Cleveland, where the players who violated Covid-19 protocols are key contributors (Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac), Diaz is a role player whom the team can more easily replace. Veteran Drew Butera is backing up Wolters, and 25-year-old Dom Nunez is at the team’s alternate training site and on the 40-man roster, making him a readily available alternative as well.
The Rockies haven’t given any sort of indication as to when — or if — Diaz will rejoin the team.