The hits just keep on coming for the Boston Red Sox, who are dealing with a major COVID-19 outbreak within the organization.
Infielder Yairo Muñoz was placed on the COVID-related injured list Wednesday, joining Kiké Hernandez, Christian Arroyo, Matt Barnes, Xander Bogaerts, Martín Pérez, and Hirokazu Sawamura as Red Sox players who have tested positive for the virus. Reliever Josh Taylor is on the COVID IL as a close contact.
Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom addressed the unfortunate situation during a press conference Wednesday.
"It's gut-wrenching," Bloom said. "How else can you react? We try to go to great lengths to keep these sorts of things from happening and then to see what's happening now, it's really hard. This goes beyond baseball. ...
"I wish everybody in our organization were vaccinated and for that matter, everybody period was eligible. I'm a strong proponent of vaccination and so is our organization, so every person in this organization that isn't vaccinated pains me. At the same time, even though that's true in the aggregate in terms of this specific situation, we have a lot of breakthrough infections. There's no real way to know if it would've been different if we had a higher vaccination rate or not."
With several key players unavailable due to the COVID outbreak, the Red Sox made a series of roster moves to send reinforcements to Tampa Bay. Infielder Jack Lopez and right-hander John Schreiber were promoted from Triple-A Worcester ahead of Wednesday night's game vs. the Rays. Reliever Ryan Brasier was activated from the 60-day injured list and utility man Danny Santana was activated from the 10-day IL.
Boston's COVID issues couldn't have come at a more inopportune time. As the final full month of the regular season begins, the Red Sox sit 10 games back in the American League East after dropping the first two games of their series against the first-place Rays. Their lead over the Oakland Athletics for the second wild card spot has dwindled to one game.
They'll face an uphill battle Wednesday as they take on the Rays shorthanded. On the bright side, they'll have ace Chris Sale on the mound in the pivotal matchup, which is set for 7:10 p.m. ET.
Hear everything Bloom had to say in the video above.