A pair of AL West teams announced reinstatements from the COVID-19 injured list this afternoon.
- The Mariners activated reliever Paul Sewald from the IL. Penn Murfee, who had been selected to take his place last week, was removed from the 40-man roster and returned to Triple-A Tacoma. Interestingly, that the M’s were able to return Murfee as opposed to outrighting him off the 40-man indicates they’d received permission from the commissioner’s office to designate him as a COVID “substitute.” That seemingly wasn’t the case for first baseman Mike Ford, who’d been called up to replace Luis Torrens a day prior and was designated for assignment when Torrens was activated earlier this week. That suggests that Sewald’s contracting the virus, which made him the third Seattle player in fairly short order to do so, was enough for the league to determine the M’s ability to field a competitive team was impacted. Murfee didn’t make an appearance with the big league club. Mitch Haniger remains on the COVID list but is expected to be back within a few days.
- The Athletics announced that utilityman Chad Pinder has been activated from the IL. Infielder Christian Lopes was returned to their top affiliate in Las Vegas in a corresponding 40-man roster move. Lopes, who was selected as a designated COVID substitute himself, appeared in his first four MLB games. He went hitless in nine at-bats, although he did draw a walk. Jed Lowrie, Lou Trivino and Drew Jackson remain on Oakland’s virus-related IL.