CHICAGO — The Cleveland Guardians are dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak that has sidelined manager Terry Francona and several of the team's coaches, leading to the postponement of Wednesday's game against the Chicago White Sox.
Shortly after Francona's positive test became known, Major League Baseball said there were "multiple positive COVID-19 tests" in Cleveland's organization and called off Wednesday's series finale to allow for more testing and contact tracing. No makeup date has been announced.
It's the first coronavirus-related postponement since the season started on April 7.
Guardians bench coach DeMarlo Hale, who was slotted to fill in for Francona, also tested positive, and Cleveland has "multiple coaches and other team support staff members" infected with the virus, according to team spokesman Bart Swain.
There are no known current cases among Cleveland's players. The team recently had an outbreak.
At this point, it's unclear who will manage the Guardians when they open a three-game series in Minnesota on Friday. It's likely the team will bring up several minor league coaches and field coordinators for the series.
First-base coach Sandy Alomar could be an option to manage. He took over those duties during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season after Francona was forced to step away after just 14 games due to a health issue.
Following the postponement, the team members not affected by the virus flew to Minneapolis. Francona, Hale and the others who tested positive are expected to bus back to Cleveland in the coming days.
Before Francona's positive test was announced, the Guardians met about re-instituting their mask policy. Once a team reaches a certain threshold of cases, masks are required, per MLB guidelines.
The Guardians are off Thursday. The team did set its rotation for the Twins series, with Aaron Civale starting on Friday, followed by Shane Bieber and Triston McKenzie.