The Mets returned to Citi Field on Tuesday to play baseball again after a five-day COVID-19 scare, but did so with two players and two coaches missing.
Catcher Tomas Nido, infielder Andres Gimenez, third base coach Gary Disarcina and bench coach Hensley Meulens were not on site for “undisclosed reasons,” manager Luis Rojas said. The Mets previously announced that two members of the organization, a player and a coach, had tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday in Miami, but they have not revealed the identity of those two. Rojas said Tuesday that all tests since have continued to come back negative.
“We’ve learned a lot of things this season, this year overall, in baseball and life,” Rojas said. “One of the things we’ve learned the most is this protocol so we can be really good at it when something like this challenges us. The last few days, it’s been part of that. Just a lot of quarantining, staying at home and watching games and coming to the ballpark to get tested. We’re glad we got through it and we’re fortunate it was contained. The way we worked following this protocol, it’s paid off.
“It could have been different.”
Nido and Gimenez were placed on the injured list and to replace them, the Mets added catcher Pat Mazeika and outfielder Juan Lagares to the roster. Catcher Ali Sanchez was also called up as the 29th man for Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Marlins.
To make up for the missing coaches, Tony DeFrancesco will move from coaching first base to third base, Brian Schneider will add bench coach to his quality control duties and Kevin Boles has joined the staff to serve as the first base coach.
“They’re not going to be with the team for an indefinite amount of time,” Rojas said of Disarcina and Meulens. “We don’t know.”
Rick Porcello and Seth Lugo were set to start the two games against the Marlins on Tuesday, with Jacob deGrom slated for Wednesday. That would all but mean the two-time reigning Cy Young Award winner will miss the Yankees this weekend if he stays on normal rest, though Rojas declined to confirm that.