Monday night’s Phillies-San Francisco Giants game was played as scheduled even though the Phillies were without three players and two coaches who were placed into COVID-19 protocol earlier in the day.
In all, the Phillies have eight uniformed personnel in protocol. Three members of the coaching staff were placed in protocol on Friday.
Pitchers Jose Alvarado and Matt Moore and infielder Ronald Torreyes were placed on the COVID injured list on Monday.
It’s not clear when the players will return.
Players are subject to daily testing and wear contact-tracing devices around the ballpark. It’s possible that a player can end up sidelined and in protocol even without testing positive or showing symptoms. For privacy reasons, teams are prohibited from commenting on anything related to test results.
Major League Baseball has strict protocols in place to ensure that a full season gets played, but the virus remains a formidable foe.
The Phillies are hopeful that their issues don’t become bigger.
“I wouldn’t say I’m 100 percent confident at this point because I’ve never been through something like this as far as the COVID situation is concerned,” Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said. “So you never can tell what takes place.
“Am I concerned? Yes. Am I hopeful nothing else happens? Yes. That’s the way I would describe it.”
The team recalled three players from the alternate site in Lehigh Valley to fill in for the players who were placed on the COVID IL. Pitchers Cristopher Sanchez and Damon Jones were added along with infielder Nick Maton. All were previously on the 40-man roster, though none have ever appeared in the majors.
Maton, 24, was in the Phillies’ starting lineup, batting eighth and playing shortstop in place of Didi Gregorius, who was out with an inflamed right elbow.
Dombrowski indicated that Scott Kingery, who has been playing shortstop at the alternate site, could be in play for a promotion if Gregorius' absence is prolonged. It is not expected to be, however.
“We hope Didi will be able to play (Tuesday),” Dombrowski said.
Gary Jones, manager of the Phillies’ Triple A team, was added to the coaching staff for Monday night’s game. He was slated to coach third base.
The five coaches in COVID protocol are third base coach Dusty Wathan, bullpen coach Dave Lundquist, staff assistant Bobby Meacham, first base/outfield coach Paco Figueroa and hitting coach Joe Dillon.
Moore was scheduled to pitch on Friday in Denver. If he is not back from protocol by that time, Vince Velasquez would start, manager Joe Girardi said.
By MLB rule, Girardi was prohibited from talking about any specifics of the players and staffers who are in protocol. Girardi did disclose that he had his second COVID vaccination shot earlier Monday.
MLB has stated that it would relax some of its health and safety protocols – for instance, players might be able to go to an indoor restaurant – if a team reaches an 85 percent vaccination rate among uniformed personnel.
Citing privacy, Dombrowski would not say what percentage of Phillies have been vaccinated.
“I’m hopeful we get to 85 percent,” he said. “We talk to individuals about that. We’ve made presentations to them. We continue to work on that on a daily basis, but it’s an individual person’s choice. If you ask me my preference, I’d say sure, I would like to be at 85 percent. It makes a big difference and not only in situations like this, but even in their day-to-day life as far as when they’re traveling is concerned. But I can’t force individuals to do so, so they have to make those decisions themselves.”