Matt Davidson was added to the Cincinnati Reds roster yesterday afternoon, and settled into the 6th spot in the lineup for their Opening Day game against the Detroit Tigers. He went 0 for 2 before exiting for a pinch-hit appearance by Jesse Winker.
That’s apparently not all he did, however. You can see up in that picture that he slapped hands with Nick Castellanos after Castellanos scored a run, for one. And as the Reds themselves revealed minutes ago on Twitter, Davidson somehow found a way to test positive for COVID-19.
The #Reds today recalled OF Aristides Aquino and RHP Tejay Antone, placed on the 3-day paternity list C Tucker Barnhart and placed on the 10-day IL IF Matt Davidson (tested positive for COVID-19).— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) July 25, 2020
When he appears in a game, Antone will be making his Major League debut. pic.twitter.com/vmse34WQRA
This is the baseball world in which we now operate, unfortunately.
Who did he sit next to? Who else did he high five? Is he asymptomatic? Is it a false positive? How many false positives can we expect? How long will it take him to test negative twice?
He’ll be out for at least 10 days, as the IL designation requires, which is a full 1/6th of the season if my brain still can do basic math. And while losing him and adding Aristides Aquino back to the roster is likely a wash at worst and perhaps and upgrade at best, the entire scenario creates enough questions and speculation out here in the blogosphere that I can only imagine what it caused in the clubhouse itself.
Every Reds player that’s been at all in contact with Davidson will get to not only ask all those questions of themselves repeatedly while trying to, y’know, also get ready to play baseball, but now they’ll also have to hang in the balance for multiple rounds of awkward testing to be sure. So while the physical grind of 162 games is out the door in this abbreviated season, we’re already going to begin to see the mental grind of playing through this pandemic.
You’ll also note the other side of those transactions, and that’s that Tejay Antone has been recalled while Tucker Barnhart heads to the paternity list. Best wishes to Tucker and his wife as they expect another baby any minute now, and also props to Antone, who will be making his big league debut the moment he gets the call from manager David Bell.