LEADING OFF: Tatis tests positive for virus, Harvey vs Mets

National Sports

San Diego Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr. celebrates his solo home run as he scores during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Friday, April 23, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

A look at what’s happening around the majors on Wednesday:

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PADRES DEPLETED

Yu Darvish (3-1, 2.27 ERA) and Blake Snell (1-0, 4.15) are slated to start for San Diego at Colorado in a single-admission doubleheader to make up Monday night’s postponement at Coors Field. Both games are scheduled for seven innings.

The Padres will be without Fernando Tatis Jr., who tested positive for COVID-19 and was one of three players the team added to the injured list Tuesday due to health and safety protocols. The others were utilitymen Jurickson Profar and Jorge Mateo.

San Diego manager Jayce Tingler said he learned of Tatis’ positive test in a phone call late Monday night, but the star shortstop was symptom-free at the moment.

“Naturally, you’re punched in the stomach a little bit,” Tingler said. “He’s feeling well. I mean he is crushed, he’s crushed inside, mentally, things like that.”

Tatis spent time on the injured list last month with inflammation in his left shoulder. He leads the Padres with nine homers and 23 runs.

Snell is trying to bounce back from walking six in 4 2/3 innings against San Francisco. The 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner hasn’t lasted more than 5 1/3 innings in any of his seven starts for the Padres since being acquired from Tampa Bay. He’s struggled with his control, too, walking 21 in 30 1/3 innings.

BATMAN RETURNS

Former Mets ace Matt Harvey will face New York for the first time since unceremoniously splitting with the team in a 2018 trade to Cincinnati. Harvey, now with the Orioles, returned to Citi Field with the Reds later that season but did not pitch.

“Harvey Day” was once appointment viewing in Queens, with fans wearing Batman attire to support the right-hander known as the Dark Knight. Injuries and various malfeasance — including a day in 2017 when Harvey failed to show up for a game — brought a rapid end to his prime.

After struggling through stints with Cincinnati, the Los Angeles Angels and Kansas City, the 32-year-old has added a sinker and found success with Baltimore, going 3-2 with a 3.60 ERA in seven starts.

“I think he’s appreciative of the opportunity and he’s running with it,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “I know he’s in a good place right now.”

VIRUS CONCERNS

Gerrit Cole (4-1, 1.61 ERA) pitches for the Yankees at rival Tampa Bay, but it’s uncertain which staff members will be available for New York. Third base coach Phil Nevin was away from the team Tuesday after a positive coronavirus test, and several other coaches were expected to miss the game due to contact tracing.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone said the contact tracing did not include any players.

Nevin, who is fully vaccinated, was under quarantine protocol in Tampa, Florida.

“He’s doing OK,” Boone said.

Bench coach Carlos Mendoza replaced Nevin as third base coach, and minor league coordinator Mario Garza filled in as first base coach for Reggie Willits.

Pitching coach Matt Blake was not visible in the bullpen area when starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery warmed up before Tuesday’s game.

“We have a few other staff, coaches that are still pending and we don’t have confirmation on,” Boone said before the game. “There’s a few people that we sent home just as a precaution to make sure. We’re doing all we can to stay healthy. A little bit of a skeleton staff but nothing we can’t handle.”

The Yankees on April 30 were able to relax MLB protocols after reaching an 85% vaccination rate among players and staff such as managers, coaches and athletic trainers.

“We’ll have to definitely evaluate and make sure we’re doing everything we possibly can to prevent things from happening,” Boone said.

ROCKET’S GREEN GLARE

Juan Soto, J.D. Martinez and Freddie Freeman might not be the only ones blasting objects into orbit. NASA plans another attempt to launch its Black Brant XII sounding rocket on Wednesday shortly after 8 p.m. EDT.

The rocket will create green and violet clouds that might be visible for a short period along the East Coast and beyond. Games are scheduled to be in progress at Atlanta, Washington and Boston at the time — so if players and fans suddenly start looking up into the night sky, no, they’re not really in outer space.

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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