Cubs bullpen impacted by positive COVID test
Cubs bullpen coach Chris Young has tested positive for COVID-19, the team announced Monday afternoon.
The Cubs also placed three relievers — Brandon Workman, Jason Adam, Dan Winkler — on the COVID-19 related injured list. The trio is in Chicago and isolating from the team. As corresponding moves, the Cubs added right-handed pitcher Pedro Strop and lefties Justin Steele and Brad Wieck from the alternate site to the big-league bullpen.
The Cubs have undergone testing on a daily basis over the last week after first base coach Craig Driver reported feeling under the weather following the homestand. He did not travel with the team to Pittsburgh and tested positive for COVID over the weekend.
Through contact tracing, the team initially determined nobody was a close contact to Driver.
“We’ve tested every day since Wednesday,” David Ross said. “Each test continues to come back and we assess as we get the information. Running through every protocol, making sure we’re taking every step.
“We’ve over-tested out of lots of caution, just trying to keep everybody safe. If there’s any symptoms that pop up or things that don’t look right, we’re being extra cautious right now.”
Ross said Monday’s game in Milwaukee was not in jeopardy and the team will divulge more information as it becomes available.
“There’s concern for sure,” Ross said. “But the guys have been pretty diligent about wearing their masks. … We’re hoping for the best but we also plan for the worst. That’s the way you have to have that mindset in this time we’re in right now.”
The Cubs did not have a positive test last year from the intake process at the outset of summer camp through the end of the season.
“We didn’t deal with this, per se, last year and feel very fortunate in that way,” Ross said. “We’re worried about the health and well-being of others. I think it hits home every time my phone rings and it’s one of the docs or trainers or Jed [Hoyer].
“Your heart sinks. We’re trying to win ballgames, too. There’s a lot going on and everybody understands the world we’re in. You just want to make sure everybody comes out OK and stays healthy.”
The Cubs are not yet at the desired 85% threshold of vaccinations within the Tier 1 traveling party but remain optimistic they will reach that mark in time.
“We’re hopeful that guys can see the value in being vaccinated and trying to get towards that threshold number,” Ross said. “Again, each guy makes their choices and it’s readily available. We’re working toward that number as diligently as we can.”