CLEVELAND (AP) — The Chicago White Sox got their manager back just before their first road game of this strange, shortened season.
Rick Renteria returned to the team Tuesday after being isolated for 24 hours after he awakened Monday experiencing some COVID-19 symptoms. Renteria walked into Progressive Field about 90 minutes before the start of a doubleheader against the Indians.
He stayed behind the batting cage and at a safe distance from his players as they took batting practice.
Before he arrived, it was unclear when Renteria, who has been with the White Sox since 2017, would be allowed back with the club. On Monday, he complained of a “slight cough and nasal congestion” and went to a Cleveland hospital for evaluation and tests.
The 58-year-old stayed at the team’s hotel when Monday’s game was postponed by rain. Renteria had to stay away from his players and staff until he passed Major League Baseball’s safety protocols.
Before Tuesday’s doubleheader, bench coach Joe McEwing said he had been in contact with Renteria and reported he “sounded great. We miss him. Hopefully we get him back here soon.” McEwing filled in as manager during Renteria’s short absence.
As part of the guidelines teams most follow, a symptomatic person must have two negative tests given 24 hours apart before they are allowed to rejoin the team. The person must also be symptom-free and receive physician approval to return.
The decision by the White Sox to isolate Renteria came amid concerns about the coronavirus spreading across the majors in the first week since the delayed season began.
Games in Miami and Philadelphia have been postponed due to an outbreak involving the Marlins, who have had at least 15 players test positive.
While the Marlins deal with the outbreak, the Phillies’ home game with New York was postponed for the second straight day as a precaution because the Yankees would have been in the same clubhouse Miami used over the weekend.
The White Sox have had at least three known positive coronavirus cases. Third baseman Yoán Moncada tested positive during the team’s intake process earlier this month and said he appreciated the team’s efforts to thwart a possible spread.
McEwing said the players were coping the best they could.
“They were concerned about him and just praying and hoping that he was OK and sending out positive vibes his way that everything is OK,” McEwing said. “Basically, trying to focus on what we need to do here. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and just focusing on preparing for our game.”
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