The Nationals placed starter Erick Fedde and reliever Tanner Rainey on the injured list Wednesday, less than an hour after manager Davey Martinez announced that one of their players tested positive for the coronavirus and another was considered a close contact ahead of the team's game against the Chicago Cubs. The player that tested positive, who Martinez didn't identify, is vaccinated against the virus and asymptomatic, while the close contact hadn’t received the vaccine.
“The most important thing that we need to know is these vaccinations are to help you not get as sick or sick,” Martinez said on a Zoom call. “This player feels fine and for me that’s good news. We gotta follow MLB protocols, [so] hopefully he goes through these protocols, he comes back and he’s ready to go.”
Wednesday's positive test came from a batch of tests conducted Monday. It marks the first COVID case the Nationals have had since an outbreak forced the team to begin the season without nine players as 13 total individuals within the organization were affected. Several players missed the first week of the season and starter Jon Lester ended up needing almost a month to ramp back up before joining the rotation.
Right-handed pitchers Paolo Espino and Kyle McGowin were recalled from the Nationals' taxi squad, which had traveled to Chicago with the team. The Nationals' lineup was released less than 40 minutes before first pitch.
Despite testing positive, the vaccinated player faces an easier path back to the field. All non-vaccinated players are subject to a mandatory 10-day quarantine period before being eligible to resume play.