Multiple positive COVID-19 tests in Cleveland Guardians organization; game against Chicago White Sox postponed

The Cleveland Guardians game against the Chicago White Sox has been postponed due to multiple positive COVID-19 tests within the Guardians organization, Major League Baseball announced Wednesday.

The match was postponed to allow testing and contact tracing to continue. MLB will provide a rescheduling update as soon as it becomes available.

It was announced earlier on Wednesday that Guardians manager Terry Francona has tested positive for COVID-19 and will be sidelined indefinitely. He had no symptoms. Francona, 63, has missed much of the past two seasons due to various health issues.

The match was postponed due to multiple positive tests among coaches and travelers, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN’s Jesse Rogers. The positive tests stem from some members of the traveling party being symptomatic, the sources say.

Guardians coach DeMarlo Hale, who replaced Francona last season, was expected to handle the series finale against the White Sox. Hale will remain in this role until Francona returns to the team.

It is the first game postponed this season due to COVID-19 after the league postponed nine of 2,429 games last season. Forty-five out of 900 games were postponed due to COVID-19 during the shortened 2020 season.

The Guardians may still play their next game on Friday in Minnesota, but may need to bring in coaches from their minor league system.

The Cleveland team recently had a coronavirus outbreak, with infielders Owen Miller, Yu Chang and pitchers Cal Quantrill and Anthony Castro all placed on the COVID-19 injured list.

Francona has been healthy this season after two difficult years. In 2020, he managed just 14 games in the pandemic-shortened season before being hospitalized with gastrointestinal issues.

Last year, Francona struggled after having foot surgery in the offseason and left the team in July.

Francona is in his 10th season with Cleveland. He won two World Series titles with the Boston Red Sox.

Information from Jesse Rogers of ESPN and The Associated Press was used in this report

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