The Red Sox have announced that left-handed pitchers Darwinzon Hernandez and Josh Taylor have both tested positive for COVID-19, MLB.com’s Ian Browne was among those to report. Taylor’s positive test came during the intake at Red Sox camp, whereas Hernandez stayed at home. Both players will be quarantined and are unable to return to the team until they’ve tested negative twice within a 24-hour period.
Evidently, both players gave the team permission to reveal their identities as the ones who received positive test results. Boston skipper Ron Roenicke wouldn’t say whether Taylor and Hernandez were exhibiting symptoms, which could alter their timeline in returning to the diamond.
Fellow Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodriguez, who has abstained from reporting to Boston, is awaiting test results after coming into contact with a person who may have contracted the virus.
Both Hernandez and Taylor figure to be important pieces in the Boston bullpen this year, and there’s a considerable chance that the Sox will have to start the season without them. The two lefties each got their first foray into the big leagues last year, with Hernandez tossing more than 30 innings for Boston and Taylor tallying almost 50. Their roles this year might have been amplified, with relatively limited left-handed options in the bullpen mix for the Red Sox. Josh Osich is the other lefty reliever in the Boston 60-man player pool.
Clearly, though, the primary focus will be on the health and recovery of the Red Sox pitchers, and we wish them a quick and orderly return to health. We’ll hope to see Hernandez and Taylor on the mound and in good health at Fenway Park in the near future.