A couple of stray notes that would’ve otherwise gone in the Spring Training Miscellany, but since today’s game isn’t happening until late tonight, I wanted to get them in front of you now.
First up, a Cubs player on the minor league side has tested positive for COVID-19:
Cubs have a positive COVID-19 test on the minor-league side, David Ross announces. They went through contact tracing and everything is "clean" — tests have come back OK.
— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) March 24, 2021
No identity for the player at this time, but the mention of minor league “side” suggests it’s a true minor leaguer, rather than a big-league-type player in on a minor league deal.
Some minor leaguers have been arriving at camp over the past week, though minor league spring training does not officially begin until next weekend after the big leaguers have departed for the MLB season. So it’s possible the positive test was someone arriving early and going through the intake process. In a way, you hope that’s what it was, rather than someone who was around camp and got it. Either way, the contact tracing and additional testing came back good, and now we just hope whoever it is gets through it just fine.
Meanwhile, if you’ve been wondering (like I had been) where reliever Jonathan Holder has been, he’s been hurt:
Ross dipped into his hockey jargon, noting that reliever Jonathan Holder has been on the shelf for the past week with "an upper body injury."
Manager added that it's a muscular issue in pec area. On a throwing program, but took a break after last outing.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) March 24, 2021
Holder was one of the Cubs’ few big league signings this offseason in the bullpen, but with a minor league option remaining, there was always a chance he would be a guy who didn’t initially make the pen. Now with an injury that has slowed him, it seems plausible he’ll start the season on the IL anyway.