It was unclear as of his late scratch last night whether Kris Bryant’s gastrointestinal issues fell under the COVID-19 protocols (it is a possible symptom), or if it was being treated just like any other stomach bug. Turns out it was the former.
I’m glad to hear that it *was* considered a self-reporting situation, and falls under the protocols – because why mess around when we’ve seen what can happen when the virus gets into a clubhouse?
That is to say, Bryant was removed from the mix yesterday, got extra testing, and will not be available to the Cubs until he is fully cleared:
David Ross commends Kris Bryant for self-reporting symptoms and says his COVID tests have come back negative. Bryant, however, will not be available to play today as the Cubs try to follow the MLB protocols.
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) August 2, 2020
David Ross said Kris Bryant "feels much better today. Stomach issues are gone." His tests came back negative and he will be tested again tomorrow. He is not available today. "He really needs to be commended for going in and getting checked out," Ross said.
— Maddie Lee (@maddie_m_lee) August 2, 2020
The Cubs have been commended for how they’ve approached the health and safety protocols from day one, so following the process to a tee this time around doesn’t surprise me.
As we saw with the Reds, who missed Mike Moustakas and Nick Senzel for three days after self-reporting, it can be a little while before a player who self-reports is fully cleared to return, even after negative tests. That’s why I don’t think we can say for sure yet that Bryant will be back tomorrow, even if he tests negative again today (because if he needs another from tomorrow’s testing, it would only be back before game-time if it was a rapid test – if it’s the full, regular test, that would cost him at least another day). Then again, he’s already had negative tests, so it’s possible what he actually needs is the medical clearance (which is separate from the negative tests). Yes, I know that’s unclear – it’s kind of an unclear situation at the moment.
Whole point here? We’re still early in the process of fully understanding what exactly takes place when a player self-reports symptoms and is isolated from the team. It’s probably always going to be something like two to three to four days, but I’m not sure we really know yet. I’m just glad Bryant and the Cubs are taking it seriously, and MLB is trying to establish a process that prioritizes an abundance of caution rather than a quick return, even if it means you miss an important player for multiple games. Better to miss one guy for three days because he had a stomach bug than to wind up missing half your team because it actually turned out to be COVID-19.
In fact, it was Bryant, himself, who said this about the Reds:
During Cincy series, Bryant thanked Moustakas for being honest about feeling sick.
KB: "That's how we're going to finish the season. If you wake up and you don't feel great … you have to check that box of the survey that we fill out every morning, and you go from there."
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) August 2, 2020