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Red Sox confirm hurler Rodriguez among COVID-19 positive players

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Los Angeles (AFP)

Boston Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez is among the team's latest players to test positive for coronavirus, manager Ron Roenicke confirmed on Tuesday.

Roenicke told reporters on a Zoom conference that Rodriguez and infield prospect Bobby Dalbec had both tested positive, the third and fourth Red Sox players to do so after Josh Taylor and Darwinzon Hernandez.

Roenicke said both Rodriguez and Dalbec had been kept away from the Major League Baseball workouts at Fenway Park as they awaited their test results.

Rodriguez had suffered some symptoms but is improving Roenicke said, but it's not clear if he'll be able to pitch Boston's July 24 opener at Fenway Park against the Baltimore Orioles.

"He wants to be ready for that opening day, but we'll have to see how it goes," Roenicke said. "The medical team will follow him, will give him instructions basically on how to stay in shape.

"It just depends on how long this thing goes, when we can get the negative test from him and when he can come up and join us."

Rodriguez is coming off a career-year with the Red Sox.

The 27-year-old left-hander went 19-6 with a 3.81 earned-run average last season.

"Eddie's still on me about being ready for opening day, so we'll see what happens there," Roenicke said.

Major league teams are training at home in preparation for a delayed July 23 start to the season after the coronavirus pandemic scuppered the scheduled March start.

Although MLB has promised strict protocols, not all has gone smoothly, with the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros among a handful of teams that halted workouts for a time because coronavirus test results on players and personnel had not come back.

MLB blamed the issue on the July 4 US Independence Day holiday, and said Monday that such delays "should not happen again."

The World Series champion Nationals reportedly resumed training on Tuesday after results from coronavirus tests performed on Friday came back with no new negatives.

But the Chicago Cubs delayed the start of training Tuesday so they could complete all of their scheduled testing, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The delay came a day after slugger Kris Bryant and other players expressed concerns about a lack of frequency in testing.

"We're supposed to get those results a little bit later, so we pushed the players to come in a little bit later," manager David Ross said, according to the Tribune.

Despite the hiccups, Ross said he didn't yet know of any Cubs players who were likely to opt out of the shortened season.

"Do I have any concerns of them opting out? No, but that could change within a day," Ross said. "That's where we're at in the world, and in the world of baseball."

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