The Oakland A’s will get an unexpected off-day on Monday.
The A’s were scheduled to open a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins at the Coliseum that day, but the first game has been postponed, the team announced. The tentative plan is for it to be made up Tuesday as part of a doubleheader.
The Twins are dealing with a coronavirus outbreak that caused them to call off their last two games against the Angels on Saturday and Sunday. Four Tier 1 members have tested positive including three players and one staffer, beginning with shortstop Andrelton Simmons on Tuesday night, and continuing with the staffer on Friday and then outfielder Kyle Garlick and another player on Saturday. Simmons went on the COVID-19 related injured list Wednesday.
With the Twins scrambling to figure out the scope of the outbreak through further testing and contact tracing, they and the A’s will hold back on their series for at least a day to let that process play out. It’s possible everything could be settled in time for Tuesday, or it might yet take longer, so stay tuned for updates.
Oakland is carrying a seven-game win streak into Sunday’s series finale against the Detroit Tigers, and they’ll use Monday to take a full off-day rather than holding an extra workout, reports Alex Coffey of The Athletic. Their Sunday game with the Tigers is unaffected and will go on as planned.
Current MLB guidelines allow for relaxed health and safety protocols once 85% of a team’s Tier 1 individuals have been vaccinated, which covers players and personnel like coaches and trainers who are in direct contact with players. However, the A’s are not yet at that 85% threshold, reports Matt Kawahara of the S.F. Chronicle:
Bob Melvin did not say what percent of team has been vaccinated. Asked if he is optimistic Athletics can reach 85% threshold: “You know what, I don’t know. I would say we’re fairly close. But this is something that’s very difficult to try to push on anybody. So we’ll see.”
Even after receiving a one-and-done version of the shot, it takes two weeks to reach full immunity. Dan Hayes of The Athletic reports Simmons declined a shot but Garlick did get vaccinated less than two weeks ago, and there doesn’t appear to be significant contact tracing overlap between Simmons and the latest round of positive tests, all of which adds extra layers of confusion for the Twins to sort through.
During the 2020 season, the A’s postponed four games beginning Aug. 30 after pitcher Daniel Mengden tested positive for the virus.