BOSTON – With a chance to push their record to .500 in the last game before the all-star break, the Phillies placed four players, including Sunday scheduled starting pitcher Aaron Nola, on the COVID-19 shortlist.
Nola, third baseman Alec Bohm and relievers Connor Brogdon and Bailey Falter were pulled from the roster for the series final against the Boston Red Sox. The Phillies called infielder Nick Maton and relievers Damon Jones, Mauricio Llovera and Cristopher Sanchez from the Lehigh Valley triple A.
Bohm, who left Saturday’s game earlier, tested positive for COVID-19, according to manager Joe Girardi, ruling him out for at least 10 days. He was asymptomatic on Saturday night, Girardi said, but the manager had not seen Bohm on Sunday.
The other players have been tracked down. The Phillies learned Sunday morning that Nola would not be available to pitch.
Two hours before the game, the Phillies decided to use reliever Brandon Kintzler as an opener. After getting short starts from Vince Velasquez and Matt Moore on Friday and Saturday, respectively, they were hoping to secure innings from Nola. Instead, they’ll have to rely on the bullpen again.
The Phillies are among the few teams that have not reached the threshold of 85% of players and staff vaccinated for MLB to relax COVID-19 protocols. The team did not demand that players and staff get vaccinated. But club officials have also understood the possibility of a competitive disadvantage if the team does not reach the 85% mark.
A player can be placed on the COVID-19 shortlist for a variety of reasons, including exposure to an infected person through contact tracing.
Players who show symptoms of the common cold are also put on the list until they test negative for COVID-19.
This is a developing story that will be updated as more information becomes available.