Nomar Mazara wasn’t in either of the lineups in the exhibition games against the Cubs earlier this week.
Renteria said Mazara was “a little under the weather” on Sunday. He said the same on Tuesday, but his elaboration, though opaque, painted a clearer picture:
“As soon as I have more information on how he’s doing, if we can share, we will. What I can share, we will.”
At some point later Tuesday, the White Sox quietly placed Mazara on the 10-day injured list. Let’s acknowledge that it could be a clerical error, because transaction pages burp from time to time. Paired with Mazara’s absence, however, I’m guessing this is the White Sox sharing what they can. But if that’s true, then the White Sox would be 3-for-3 in keeping mysterious absences just that (and Yoán Moncada admitted having COVID-19 after he recovered and returned. Maybe these mysterious IL stints are how the White Sox are choosing to disclose that information. They could say nothing and put a player on a COVID-19 list nobody can see, but that doesn’t make it any more difficult to connect the dots when a starter is involved.
The one distinction with the 10-day injured list is that, well, it keeps a player out of action for a minimum of 10 days. Whatever Mazara has, it’s serious enough that the White Sox are choosing to go without him until the last day of July, and there’s no obvious everyday candidate to replace him.
The intuitive stopgap is a platoon of Leury García and Adam Engel. That’s not going to be much of a platoon during the first week, because the Twins and Indians have one left-handed starter between them, and the Sox won’t see that guy.
Of course, the Sox can sidestep all complications by calling up Nick Madrigal, because then they can get by with García in right, with Danny Mendick providing the layer of coverage around the three infield spots. If the White Sox really want to steal that year of service time, then perhaps Nicky Delmonico catching the final out of Monday’s game against the Cubs tipped their hand.
Update No. 1: The White Sox indeed made it official with no explanation given.
Update No. 2: The Twins unveiled their probable pitchers for the opening series, which includes lefty Rich Hill because Jake Odorizzi experienced back stiffness. So a platoon in right field would afford at least one start for Engel if that’s how it goes.
Update No. 3: Today’s lineup has Nicky Delmonico in right and Nick Madrigal nowhere to be seen.
I could definitely see Delmonico just replacing Mazara for the first week. Then they would keep everything else the same. Both Engel and Leury are much better against lefties, so there would be a definite dropoff for either getting the at bats against all the righties the Sox will face in the first week.
I had not thought of this. Not a bad idea.
But for me, the biggest conclusion I can draw from the Mazara situation is that Madrigal must be our opening day second basemen. Losing Mazara is just the last straw to me. With Yoan starting at third, you could at least pretend that they are more comfortable with Leury at 2nd to start the year. With Mazara out at least the first week of the season (1/8th of the season!), The sox need Leury for Out field depth. Enough playing games, just place Madrigal on the opening day roster.
Yup, this. It’s pretty hard to put together a serious roster without Madrigal now if Leury is getting serious time in the OF. I suppose they could put Leury in RF, Mendick at 2B and promote Romine to the 40 man, but that would really reek of desperation in trying to keep Madrigal down.
Reports of the Dodgers closing in on an extension with Mookie Betts. sigh
I imagine Kenny’s already working on a tweet stating that he offered Betts more total money.
I’m pretty sure Mazzara is the plan for this year and next. Seems like a good plan to me.
Not sure why you would think Mazara is a good plan.
He’s under control through arbitration for both years.
He averages 20 home runs a year and plays a credible Right field
He bats left, a clear need for this team.
The team has already decided.
They are in charge and smarter than you or me.
Hope you found this helpful.
Jeff Passan is confirming reports that Betts and the Dodgers are negotiating an extension. Betts was always a long shot, but this stinks. Particularly when the Sox’ underwhelming placeholder is out and we’re discussing the same underwhelming replacement options for the hundredth time. Oh well, try for Springer, I guess. Or see if they can get creative and pry Conforto away from the Mets. The extra lefty-ness would be useful.
Did we ever get any clarity on our pursuit if Harper? If Betts stays out west and we don’t land Springer that particular offseason is going to roar back into people’s minds.
I didn’t read any blow-by-blow accounts of their pursuit of Harper. I was under the impression that they didn’t actually make a formal offer to him. Bitter, conventional wisdom says they assumed he would cost more than Machado and they stupidly thought their friends and family plan would let them save a little money with Manny, but I don’t know if there was ever any credible reporting that confirmed that. Seems consistent with past behavior, though.
Harper called it “a great meeting” after the fact, but the lack of follow-ups suggest they were only interested in Machado for eight years, so forget Harper for 13.
IMO the fact that Grandal has the biggest deal in team history at $73M suggests they’d never get anywhere close to landing Betts (or Machado or Harper). The best they’re willing to do is what they did with Machado — make a ton of noise for the PR machine about how they’re SUPER SERIOUS about signing him, and then make him a lowball offer that he’d never accept.
As long as Jerry is in charge, I’m not bothering to think about a signing of that magnitude, it’s just not realistic.
Ugh, this is why you don’t pass up good FAs that are sitting in front of you waiting to be signed hoping to get a guy who’s scheduled to be a FA in a year or two. Like you said, on to Springer hopefully.
A possible positive test in camp is very disturbing–both for Mazara and for other personnel. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of distancing and mask use among the players during the exhibition games from what I’ve seen. The lag between contracting it and being able to test positive, the lag between tests, and the lag between taking the test and getting results mean that they shouldn’t be treating each other as if they’re safely in a bubble imo.
This is an interesting fact. Moncada had covid19 before spring trainin v2. But Mazara caught it during the spring training v2..of course, assuming Mazara’s “under the weather” is covid19.
I had the same reaction to the Mazara news. Worried about a domino effect here.
On the Betts news, did anyone really think Reinsdorf and company were throwing tons of money at him (or anyone) next year? Not based on Jerry’s recent comments and the current economy.
Has the MLB provided any information on the COVID test they use (e.g., how soon after contracting the disease will you get a positive test vs. when does an infection become contagious)? Though I’m sure any data on the test and disease at this point is going to be somewhat unknown.
Also is any site compiling a list of the MLB COVID cases by team?
Does anyone understand the rationale for keeping positive COVID cases secret?
I know players can opt for privacy (which is the right call by MLB), but why do they? For other medical issues, the desire for privacy usually stems from not wanting to be treated differently—but in this case, you *should* be treated differently. And so should, by the way, family and friends exposed to you.
While it’s their right to stay private, I’m struggling to see the rationale. These mysterious absences where we’re all just left to assume the worst just feel weird.
I’ve wondered this too. I wonder if it something like players’ contracts make them wave privacy rights for physical injuries but not infections (e.g., a team can’t release that a player had a positive STD test)
I guess people just don’t want to say they got the virus. To avoid questions of how? How do you feel? How is it possible? How is your family? Are you OK?… that gets annoying quickly
Sure, but saying he’s under the weather then putting him on the 10-day IL is supposed to help him avoid this? If nothing else, I’d imagine this makes it worse.
Wouldn’t that be true of any injury? I’m sure Michael Kopech has been asked “How’s the arm?” roughly 10,000,000 times in the past year
Here’s the distinction:
Is the organization, right now, obligated to tell all the players in camp and other personnel that Mazara tested positive for Covid (if that’s the case)?
I would say yes, right?
Just saw that the Royals are foregoing service time manipulation to bring up top pitching prospect Brady Singer up, in a season in which the Royals have little chance to compete. Makes it look worse if the Sox keep Madrigal down for a week.
Leury is one of the relatively rare switch hitters who is better from the right side — so I’m not exactly sure what type of platoon you are describing.
Delmonico makes a lot more sense in RF than either of them against an RHP starter.
Personally, I would start Engel against lefties until he shows he can’t cut it — which just leaves Garcia on the bench those days.
I would also start Collins at 1B against RHP. And if it’s a rare day when we have Keuchal or Gonzales pitching, and we are also facing a LHP starter — I would play McCann at catcher, DH EE, 1B Abreu, Leury at 3B, Robert & Engel in a 2-man outfield, and plug Eloy into a 5-man infield.
That leaves Moncada and Grandal (& Collins) on the bench, ready to pounce on a lefty reliever should he come into the game. (And Grandal / Moncada will both need some off days).
LHP starters will be about 30% of our schedule, and Gio Keuchal starts will be about 35% of our starts, so they should overlap about 6 times. That’s not a rediculous amount of games to try out the super CF strategy.
On the plus side— maybe no collision risks with only 2 guys out there?
On the down side— how much contribution would Eloy actually bring to the 5 man infield?