LEADING OFF: Padres, Yanks carry on thru COVID outbreaks
A look at what’s happening around the majors Thursday:
The San Diego Padres and New York Yankees are both short-staffed due to COVID-19 outbreaks, but neither has had to interrupt their schedule.
San Diego stars Fernando Tatis Jr. and Wil Myers have tested positive, and Eric Hosmer, Jurickson Profar and Jorge Mateo were held out of Wednesday’s doubleheader in Colorado due to contact tracing. The Padres are off on Thursday before starting a home series against NL Central-leading St. Louis on Friday night.
Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres was kept out of Wednesday night’s starting lineup at Tampa Bay as a precaution as the number of confirmed positive tests among the team’s coaching and support staff reached seven.
Manager Aaron Boone said MLB’s Joint COVID-19 Health and Safety Committee is waiting and reviewing a number of test results. The members of New York’s traveling party have been tested at least three times each since Tuesday.
The Yankees have been relaxing virus protocols since April 30 after passing MLB’s 85% vaccination threshold among tier 1 staff, including players, coaches and trainers. Boone said the vaccinations were blunting the virus’ effects, with only one person showing symptoms.
New York is slated to wrap its series at Tampa Bay.
Brewers ace Corbin Burnes is set face St. Louis in his first start since testing positive for the coronavirus last month. The right-hander is 2-2 with a 1.53 ERA, 49 strikeouts and no walks in 29 1/3 innings, but he hasn’t pitched since April 26.
Burnes confirmed Wednesday that he had COVID-19 but said he was asymptomatic. Milwaukee has achieved the 85% vaccination rate required by MLB to ease certain safety protocols, but Burnes said he opted against inoculation for personal reasons. He added he had “no clue” how he might have gotten the virus.
Burnes is scheduled to square off against Cardinals ace Jack Flaherty (6-0, 2.83).
Braves right-hander Mike Soroka has experienced a setback in his recovery from surgery to repair his torn right Achilles tendon and will have a follow-up procedure next week. Atlanta’s opening day starter in 2020 tore the tendon Aug. 3 and hasn’t pitched since having season-ending surgery.
Manager Brian Snitker said Wednesday that Soroka will have exploratory surgery early next week in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
“I hate it for the kid,” Snitker said. “He’s worked so hard to come back. I hate it for him personally to have this setback.”
Soroka emerged as one of the foundations of the Braves’ rotation in 2019, when he went 13-4 with a 2.68 ERA. The Canadian earned a spot in the All-Star Game, finished second in NL Rookie of the Year balloting and sixth for the Cy Young Award.
The Reds have won five straight extra-inning games and are 6-2 in extras this season -- no other team has more than four such victories.
Cincinnati beat Pittsburgh 5-1 Wednesday when Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suárez combined to drive in four runs in the 10th inning.
“The key in most cases is not being satisfied with scoring the one run,” Reds manager David Bell said.
The Reds will see if they get any extra work when Luis Castillo (1-4, 6.42 ERA) pitches the opener of a four-game series at Colorado. Castillo had been scheduled to start Friday, but had his day flipped to give Wade Miley an extra day of rest after throwing 114 pitches in his no-hitter against Cleveland on May 7.
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