Following three straight postponements, the Twins are scheduled to return to play on Tuesday — at least tentatively.
The Twins and Athletics will not play Monday’s game in Oakland as scheduled, the league announced on Sunday, as the Twins continue to test and contact trace following four positive COVID-19 tests within their group in the past week.
The two teams are now tentatively scheduled to play a doubleheader on Tuesday at RingCentral Coliseum in Oakland. Game 1 would begin at 5:30 p.m. CT, and it would be Minnesota’s first game since Friday’s 10-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif.
The Twins are in limbo after positive COVID-19 test results for three players and one staff member. Monday’s postponement follows Saturday and Sunday postponements against the Angels.
“You can put a lot of precautions in place, and it can still break through unfortunately, and that’s just reality,” president of baseball operations Derek Falvey said on Inside Baseball to Kris Atteberry on Sunday afternoon. “I do feel like the vast majority of our group has done a really good job with adherence to protocols. These are sometimes some things that occurred regardless of how well you follow them.”
The Twins underwent further testing on Sunday and will do so again on Monday. They did not travel to Oakland on Sunday as originally planned, instead remaining at their hotel in Anaheim.
The Twins’ first in-season COVID-19 case came on Tuesday when shortstop Andrelton Simmons tested positive for the virus. Simmons has been away from his teammates since then, remaining in Minnesota in quarantine while the rest of the group left for California.
Since then, manager Rocco Baldelli and another staff member triggered false positive test results on Thursday before being cleared shortly before game time. A staff member tested positive on Friday, and two players, including outfielder Kyle Garlick, tested positive on Saturday.
“We know we’re dealing with a unique case in the sense that it’s a variant case which does create some questions around transmissibility,” Falvey said on the radio. “There’s still a lot we don’t know, but we’re doing everything we can to work closely with our medical folks to really ultimately just limit the spread among our people.”
Garlick and the two other members of the organization who have tested positive while in Anaheim will remain there in quarantine. So far, Falvey said of everyone who has tested positive recently, none has dealt with more than mild symptoms.
When the Twins do return to action, a number of players could also be affected by the contract tracing process, depending on the proximity and amount of time spent near a COVID-19 positive individual. The Washington Nationals, for example, had four players test positive at the beginning of this season and another five players held out of action for a period of time due to contact tracing.
While the Twins have a return date, if they will actually play that day and who will be playing that day remain up in the air.
“I think the results of our tests today, the results of our test tomorrow will really help us determine what the best next steps are. But last night we tested a number of our staff that were on site,” Falvey said Sunday on the radio. “Those have come back in a good direction, so hopefully we get the same result tonight.”