The San Francisco Giants planned to hold their first modified scrimmage of the summer on Tuesday at Oracle Park, but the team announced it was temporarily suspending workouts pending coronavirus test results.
Manager Gabe Kapler said Giants players, coaches and staffers who were tested for COVID-19 on Saturday had not yet received results before Tuesday's practice was set to begin. Kapler said he anticipated the team would receive test Saturday's results later in the day on Tuesday, but a decision was made at noon to cancel team activities.
"I just maintain a level of empathy for everybody that's working really hard to get our camp up and running, but also across the league and for all the clubs that are working really hard to put their clubs in a position to have success," Kapler said.
The Giants join a growing list of teams that have had summer workouts interrupted due to testing issues across Major League Baseball. The list includes the Oakland Athletics, who were unable to conduct their first full squad workout until Monday evening after tests conducted on Friday weren't received by MLB's Salt Lake City lab that processes tests until Monday.
The Washington Nationals, St. Louis Cardinals and Houston Astros all canceled workouts Monday after issues with test results while the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Arizona Diamondbacks were forced to push workouts back several hours after players did not receive test results.
Kapler said he's staying optimistic that MLB can sort out widespread issues from the first week of conducting tests in the coming days.
"I feel as confident today as I did yesterday, I understand that there are going to be hiccups along the way," Kapler said. "I think our club does as well, our players and staff included in that. I still have confidence for sure."
MLB protocols call for players to be tested every two days and test results are expected to be received within 48 hours. Issues with conducting, shipping, receiving and processing tests affected many teams around the sport over the holiday weekend, but MLB issued a statement Monday noting that it does not expect the problems to persist.
"Our plan required extensive delivery and shipping services, including proactive special accommodations to account for the holiday weekend," the statement said. "The vast majority of those deliveries occurred without incident and allowed the protocols to function as planned. Unfortunately, several situations included unforeseen delays. We have addressed the delays caused by the holiday weekend and do not expect a recurrence. We commend the affected Clubs that responded properly by cancelling workouts."
The Giants also had personnel tested for the coronavirus on Monday and Kapler said his expectation is that those test results will be received by Wednesday. The first-year manager said he hopes to hold a workout on Wednesday and does not believe a day off will disrupt the team's preparation for an abbreviated regular season.
"We had the ability to recognize that we weren't going to lose any development and our camp wasn't going to suffer in any way by making this decision on behalf of our group," Kapler said.
Several prominent MLB players have criticized the league's testing issues over the past 48 hours including Dodgers star Mookie Betts and Cubs slugger Kris Bryant.
After arriving at camp on Saturday, Giants catcher Buster Posey expressed initial concerns over the weekend about MLB's ability to provide players with a safe workspace and did not rule out the possibility of electing to sit out the season.
"I've thought about it and talked about it with my wife, quite a bit," Posey said. "I think there's still some reservation on my end. I think I want to see how things progress here over the next couple of weeks."
Despite postponing Tuesday's workout, Kapler indicated he does not believe any players in Giants camp will suddenly be swayed to leave camp out of concerns for their health and safety.
"We're dealing with so many players, we have varying levels of comfort or discomfort and look we stay in very close contact with our players," Kapler said. "I think most of the anxiety is just around COVID in general, but I don't think it's related in general, but I don't think it's related in any way to anything other than what society in general is experiencing."
The Giants announced Monday that "two individuals" in the organization tested positive for COVID-19, but the team did not specify whether the individuals were players, coaches or support staffers.
"We have several individuals responsible for conducting our contact tracing, we're taking that seriously and ensuring that our camp is as safe as possible," Kapler said.
Pitcher Luis Madero and 2019 first round draft choice Hunter Bishop are the only two players in the organization who have given the Giants consent to announce their positive coronavirus tests.
(c)2020 The Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)
Visit The Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.) at www.mercurynews.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.