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Baseball teams can’t disclose who goes on injured list due to coronavirus

The collective bargaining agreement prohibits details being released for any condition not related to employment.
The Rockies' Charlie Blackmon walks through the dugout before a spring training game against the  Reds in March 10 in Scottsdale, Ariz. He is the first MLB player known to have tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Rockies' Charlie Blackmon walks through the dugout before a spring training game against the Reds in March 10 in Scottsdale, Ariz. He is the first MLB player known to have tested positive for the coronavirus. [ ROSS D. FRANKLIN | AP ]
Published Jul. 1, 2020

Trying to find out the status of a baseball player coming back from an ankle injury definitely will be easier than learning whether someone tested positive for the coronavirus.

Major League Baseball said Tuesday that a team will not specifically announce a coronavirus-injured-list placement for a player who is removed from a team after testing positive. It will be announced as just an injured-list trip.

MLB’s operations manual says a positive test, exhibiting symptoms that require isolation for additional assessment or exposure to someone who has had the virus are cause for placement on the new virus IL.

“It would be a speculating circumstance,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told media during a conference call.

Related: Minor-league baseball won’t return this season

Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement states that for any medical condition not related to employment, “a club may disclose only the fact that a medical condition is preventing the player from rendering services to the club and the anticipated length of the player’s absence from the club.”

Cashman said the situation continues to evolve as MLB and the players union continue discussions. Testing of players and staff will begin Wednesday as they report to their teams to resume official workouts. They will be tested once every two days.

Last week, Charlie Blackmon of the Rockies became the first MLB player known to have tested positive. According to reports, the All-Star outfielder was one of three Colorado players to have a positive test.

Numerous other teams have said they have players who have tested positive for the virus without identifying them. The Phillies announced seven. The Tigers said one player who was living in Florida but not working out at the team’s spring training facilities in Lakeland tested positive.

Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said a few players have tested positive but declined to specify how many. Several Blue Jays players and staff members also have tested positive.

Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said remaining educated about best practices is going to be crucial for everyone.

“Leadership really is going to be the difference-maker for the teams that are able to best handle this and best cope with the challenges that we face,” he said. “And that really is the accountability that needs to be shared by all of us — not just baseball, but our whole society.”

––– Joe Reedy. AP baseball writers Ronald Blum, Mike Fitzpatrick and Ben Walker, and sports writers David Ginsburg and Steven Wine contributed to this report.

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