CLEVELAND - Chicago White Sox manager Rick Renteria woke up Monday with “a slight cough and nasal congestion” and will be kept away from the team pending the results of medical tests.
Bench coach Joe McEwing will manage the White Sox until the team learns more about Renteria’s condition. Monday’s opener of a three-game set at Cleveland was postponed by rain and will be made up Tuesday as part of a traditional doubleheader.
General manager Rick Hahn released a statement saying the 58-year-old Renteria was taken to a Cleveland hospital for evaluation and tests.
“Out of an abundance of caution, Ricky will remain at the team hotel and not manage until we receive confirmation of today’s test result,” Hahn said.
The team did not say if Renteria, who is in his fourth season as White Sox manager, was being tested for the coronavirus.
Before Monday’s postponement, McEwing said on a Zoom conference call that he spoke to Renteria several times and that “he feels great, feels fine. Just being very cautious.”
Renteria’s situation arose on a day of major medical news across baseball, most of it involving COVID-19.
Two games were postponed after the Miami Marlins had more than a dozen players and staff members tested positive for the virus. The team was stranded in Philadelphia, where it played over the weekend, because of the outbreak.
Miami’s home opener against Baltimore was postponed, as was the New York Yankees’ game in Philadelphia. The Yankees would have used the same clubhouse the Marlins occupied for three days.
The White Sox announced July 5 they had two players test positive for the coronavirus. The team never identified the players, but star third baseman Yoan Moncada revealed his positive test result after he rejoined the team.
“We’re just continuing to focus on what we’re doing, taking the correct measures to keep everyone as safe as we possibly can,” McEwing said. “As an organization and as training staff we’ve done a pretty good job so far, and hopefully it continues that way.”
McEwing is satisfied the team has been following the proper procedures to handle a potential outbreak, something every team fears.
“Major League Baseball and us as an organization have done a fantastic job of monitoring this daily,” he said. “We’re getting our temperatures taken three times a day. If we have symptoms we’re getting checked right away, so we are monitoring closely on a daily basis everybody who has been in contact with anyone who has symptoms and taking the correct measures.”
Indians manager Terry Francona said the Miami outbreak provided the team with a chance to review all its protocols as it prepares for its first road trip later this week.
“Again, they’re mostly reminders or refreshers,” he said. “But because of what has happened and what could happen, I don’t think it ever hurts to drive home the point again.”
Francona said the situation with the Marlins was upsetting.
“We get caught up in who we’re playing and seeing if we can beat them, but in the end, we’re all one industry,” he said. “Everybody pretty much knows everybody else. You don’t ever wish stuff like that on anybody. It’s a stark reminder of the times we’re in and how quickly it can go from person to person.”
Before facing the Indians, the White Sox also placed starting pitcher Reynaldo López on the 10-day injured list with right shoulder soreness.
López left his start on Sunday against Minnesota in the first inning when his shoulder tightened. The 26-year-old went 10-15 with a 5.38 ERA in 33 starts last season.
The team recalled right-hander Ian Hamilton from its training facility in Schaumburg, Illinois, purchased the contract of infielder Ryan Goins and designated infielder Cheslor Cuthbert for assignment.
White Sox left fielder Eloy Jiménez was not in the lineup that was posted before the series opener was rained out, but McEwing said he was feeling better. Jiménez left Sunday’s 14-2 loss to Minnesota because he was feeling light headed.