One of the potential feel-good stories of this spring in Cubs camp was the re-signing of Pedro Strop to a minor-league contract. Strop appeared healthy, and if he could get back some of the velocity he appeared to have lost in 2019 and 2020, he could help out the 2021 Cubs bullpen.
That will now be put on hold:
Strop being held out of camp for violating COVID-19 protocols. Unclear when he'll be allowed to return. Must quarantine (possibly a week or more)— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) March 7, 2021
This isn’t good news for Strop, and if he was exposed to COVID-19, it might not be good news for anyone else in camp. Strop isn’t the only MLB player who violated MLB’s COVID protocols, either:
Terry Francona confirms that Franmil Reyes and José Ramírez are away from the team for breaking COVID-19 protocols. On Friday, Reyes got a haircut and the two went to dinner and ate inside a restaurant. Tito hopes to know when they can return later today.— Mandy Bell (@MandyBell02) March 7, 2021
The protocols are pretty strict, and I believe it’s incumbent on every MLB player in a spring camp to follow them to keep everyone safe. In terms of the two Cleveland players, the Cubs played them Friday, although what’s described in that tweet appears to have happened after the game (“went to dinner”).
This comes in the wake of eight Astros pitchers sent home from camp on Friday and quarantined due to possible COVID exposure:
One day after pitchers Luis Garcia, Bryan Abreu and Ronel Blanco were sent away due to health and safety protocols, Baker said early Friday five more pitchers would be joining them: Pedro Báez, Cristian Javier, Enoli Paredes, Hector Velazquez and Francis Martes. It’s unclear whether the players had tested positive for COVID-19 or had come in contact with someone who had tested positive.
We are hopefully on our way back to normal life after the COVID-19 pandemic, with many people being vaccinated. But there is still risk out there. MLB players really need to follow the protocols.
As always, we await developments. Today’s game preview will post at 12 noon CT.