The Atlanta Braves will be without their top two catchers, Tyler Flowers and Travis d’Arnaud, for Friday’s opening game at the New York Mets after both players showed symptoms of the coronavirus.
Manager Brian Snitker said Friday that Flowers and d’Arnaud have tested negative for COVID-19 but did not travel with the team because they had symptoms. Snitker said he did not know what the symptoms were and hoped the two just had “a bad cold.”
Snitker said the team is being careful because “we’ve had guys test negative and the next day they test positive.”
First baseman Freddie Freeman and right-hander Touki Toussaint are back with the team and on the Opening Day roster after testing positive at the start of summer camp. Left-handed reliever Will Smith and infielder Pete Kozma have not returned following positive tests.
Snitker said the team was trying to avoid contact between the catchers and other players in case they do have positive tests.
Alex Jackson and William Contreras are next in line at catcher. Jackson is listed as the starter for Friday’s game.
Snitker called Jackson “a very solid catcher” who hit “a couple homers” in summer camp.
“He should be feeling good about himself,” Snitker said.
The manager added that Flowers and d’Arnaud will continue to be tested.
“I don’t know if it’s not just a bad cold, but in these times you’re cautious,” Snitker said. “If this happened a year ago, you’d bring them in and treat them and they’d probably still be available.”
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