12:43pm: Hale also winded up testing positive, reports Mandy Bell of MLB.com (Twitter link).
12:38pm: This afternoon’s game between the White Sox and Guardians has been postponed, Major League Baseball announced. Cleveland is dealing with multiple COVID-19 positives, and the teams won’t play today “to allow for continued testing and contact tracing.”
This marks the first game of the 2022 season postponed because of virus concerns. Under the MLB – MLBPA health and safety protocols for this season, the commissioner’s office has final authority on whether to postpone a game. Protocols state that “MLB intends to postpone games only if necessary to protect the health and safety of Club personnel, players and umpires. Games will not be postponed for competitive reasons provided the Club has a sufficient number of players available to substitute those players on the Active Roster who are unavailable to play as a result of COVID-19.”
The league has not yet announced rescheduling plans. Today would’ve marked the rubber match of a three-game set between the teams. The White Sox host the Yankees for four games starting tomorrow; the Guardians have a scheduled off day Thursday before heading to Minnesota for a weekend series. The division rivals have four more series on the schedule, so it seems likely today’s game will be made up as part of a doubleheader down the line.
The identity of any players affected by Cleveland’s outbreak is unclear. Jesse Rogers of ESPN reports (on Twitter) that the positive tests “mostly” involve coaches and other staff members. The team had announced this morning that manager Terry Francona tested positive for the virus, with bench coach DeMarlo Hale set to serve as acting manager. There’ll surely be forthcoming updates about other individuals who have tested positive. At present, Cleveland has one player — infielder Yu Chang — on the COVID injured list; Chang went on the IL in mid-April and has been on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus for the past week and a half.