Good news update I’ll share up top: According to David Ross (via Russell Dorsey), no Cubs players have tested positive for COVID-19, despite four players showing up on the COVID-19 related IL. That doesn’t mean they can’t still test positive in the near future, but it’s still a good sign. Original post follows.
Well, this is neither new nor entirely unexpected, but it is certainly disappointing for all sorts of reasons. After going all of 2020 without any major COVID-related concerns, the Cubs are dealing with a bit of a problem here in 2021.
First, first base coach Craig Driver tested positive for COVID-19. Then, Cubs bullpen coach Chris Young tested positive for COVID-19*. Then, three relievers (Jason Adam, Brandon Workman, and Dan Winkler) were placed on the COVID related injured list (which, to remind you, does not mean any of them actually tested positive).
And now Matt Duffy joins them as the fourth Cubs player – and sixth Cubs person – to be sidelined by the virus:
The #Cubs today selected INF Ildemaro Vargas from the South Bend Alternate Site.
INF Matt Duffy has been placed on the COVID-19 related IL. pic.twitter.com/5Pfl1PGx9L
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) April 13, 2021
Duffy was 1-9 with a 2B and a walk in 9 plate appearances including one start. Infielder Ildemaro Vargas, who actually had a really nice spring (.324/.343/.471), will replace him on the roster.
Speaking of the roster, Vargas, 29, is/was not on the Cubs 40-man roster (he was DFA’d and cleared waivers at the end of the spring), but because he’s replacing a player who’s heading to the COVID-19 related IL, the Cubs do not need to make any special roster arrangements.
All of that aside, I really hope the two positive tests are the only actual positive cases with which the Cubs are dealing. I’m not sure how much I believe that, but it is obviously the goal.
*For what it’s worth, Sahadev Sharma is reporting that Young had gotten the vaccine and was diligent with mask wearing, but still tested positive. The belief is that he contracted the virus prior to being fully vaccinated. Thankfully, he is symptomless (another reason to get the vaccine is that it reduces the impact of the virus if you do still get it).