Positive COVID-19 test ‘a little unsettling’ for Cincinnati Reds

Matt Davidson goes on injured list one day after starting opener

The joy of Opening Day for the Cincinnati Reds faded on Saturday for two reasons: they lost infielder Matt Davidson to the 10-day injured list because of a positive COVID-19 test, and the bullpen gave up five runs in the last three innings in a 6-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers at Great American Ball Park.

The news about Davidson was worrisome, catcher Curt Casali said after the game.

“A player who was in our clubhouse, one of our teammates, we’re proud of him for making the squad after a year away from the big leagues, and then this happens,” Casali said. “I’m wishing him well. I feel as an organization we’ve done a really nice job of following protocols and being safe and washing our hands and wearing our masks when appropriate, and Matt was no exception to that. We’re praying it didn’t get out of the cage a little bit. Hopefully, he’s the only one right now. It’s a little unsettling.”

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Casali, who earned his second straight start as catcher Tucker Barnhart went on the paternity list, said it was hard not to think about Davidson, but he felt fine once the game started.

“I feel I’m not putting anybody in jeopardy by playing,” Casali said.

Starter Luis Castillo struck out 11 and allowed one run in six innings in his first start of the season. He said he has followed the protocols — washing his hands and wearing a mask — and now will have to do so even more.

“I have my two little girls at home,” Castillo said. “My wife is at home. I’m trying to protect them as much as myself. I’m trying to protect everyone else, too.”

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Manager David Bell said while there is concern, his primary focus is on the health of Davidson, an infielder who was one of the last two players added to the 30-man roster Friday.

“This has become a very close team,” Bell said. “Everyone cares about one another. We just want him to focus on getting healthy. Absolutely, it crosses your mind. This is where you trust the protocols put in place, not only by the league but everything we’re doing in our health-and-performance department. Our head trainer, Steve Baumann, you couldn’t ask for more. So we trust that. But we’re all concerned about Matt. He was in such a good place here. We just told him get yourself healthy and pick right back up where you left off.”

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