SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The Padres are scheduled to play two games in Colorado today before coming back to Petco Park to play the Cardinals Friday night. But there are still a lot of questions about the impact COVID-19 will have on the team and the games ahead.
Tuesday, manager Jayce Tingler announced star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. had tested positive for COVID-19, with outfielders Jurickson Profar and Jorge Mateo also out because of contact tracing protocols. Tingler says Tatis isn’t showing any symptoms. Also out, the team’s starting right fielder Wil Myers, who also has asymptomatic COVID-19.
Starting first baseman Eric Hosmer will miss seven days due to contact tracing protocols, which will present quite a challenge for the Friars who are just two games behind the Giants for the top spot in the National League West.
"The Padres are really the first team to be hit hard in 2021 -- it's never easy to lose a few key players but to lose half your starting lineup really puts the Padres in a bad situation right now," said ABC 10News Sports Director Ben Higgins.
Higgins says the Padres are facing a lot of unknowns that can have a large impact on the upcoming games.
"Right now it's the next-man-up mentality, they're bringing up minor leaguers from AAA El Paso and they’re working on continuing to win with these guys. But there's only so much you can do and so many guys you can bring up before you can't play baseball anymore," said Higgins.
Higgins adds because it’s still early in the season, and there’s still a lot of baseball left for the Friars.
"There’s still four and a half months left in the season so no matter what happens afterward. The Padres are playing well, scoring runs without their lineup, so maybe they can overcome this in the next week and a half," Higgins said.
The Padres said the next update on the team's situation will be provided in between and after the games in Colorado. The Padres' first game Wednesday will see outfielder Brian O'Grady filling in at right field.
Other roster moves made Wednesday included the team's call-up of outfielder Patrick Kivlehan and pitcher Nick Ramirez.