The Cleveland Guardians’ game against the Chicago White Sox has been postponed because of multiple positive COVID-19 tests within the Guardians organization, Major League Baseball announced Wednesday.
The game was postponed to allow for continued testing and contact tracing. MLB will provide a rescheduling update when it becomes available.
It was announced earlier Wednesday that Guardians manager Terry Francona tested positive for COVID-19 and would be sidelined indefinitely. He was not showing any symptoms. Francona, 63, missed much of the past two seasons because of a variety of health issues.
The game was postponed because of multiple positive tests among the coaches and traveling party, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN’s Jesse Rogers. The positive tests stem from some in the traveling party being symptomatic, per sources.
It’s the first game postponed this season because of COVID-19 after the league postponed nine of 2,429 games last season. Forty-five games out of 900 were postponed because of COVID-19 during the shortened 2020 season.
Guardians bench coach DeMarlo Hale, who was slated to fill in for Francona, also tested positive, according to team spokesman Bart Swain.
There are no known current cases among Cleveland’s players. The team recently had an outbreak, with infielders Owen Miller, Yu Chang and pitchers Cal Quantrill and Anthony Castro all being placed on the COVID-19 injury list.
Francona, in his 10th season with Cleveland, has been in good health this season following two challenging years. In 2020, he managed just 14 games during the pandemic-shortened season before he was hospitalized by gastrointestinal issues.
Last year, Francona struggled after undergoing offseason foot surgery and left the team in July.
Following the postponement, the team members not affected by the virus flew to Minneapolis. Francona, Hale and the others who tested positive are expected to bus back to Cleveland in the coming days.
It’s still possible the Guardians could play their next game, Friday in Minnesota, but might need to bring in coaches from their minor league system.
First-base coach Sandy Alomar could be an option to manage. He took over those duties during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season after Francona was forced to step away.
Before Francona’s positive test was announced, the Guardians met about reinstituting their mask policy. Once a team reaches a certain threshold of cases, masks are required, per MLB guidelines.
The Guardians are off Thursday. The team did set its rotation for the Twins series, with Aaron Civale starting on Friday, followed by Shane Bieber and Triston McKenzie. Civale was scheduled to start Wednesday.
Information from ESPN’s Jesse Rogers and The Associated Press was used in this report.