The Cincinnati Reds have activated star first baseman Joey Votto from the injured list, the team announced Monday. The Athletic's C. Trent Rosecrans previously reported that Votto had self-reported COVID-19 symptoms Sunday morning but had not tested positive for the virus. Votto reportedly tested negative again Monday before being activated and inserted into the Reds lineup against Cleveland.
Votto was the fourth Reds position player to either be placed on the COVID-19 injured list or be sidelined with possible symptoms since Opening Day. Matt Davidson tested positive one day into the new season. Mike Moustakas and Nick Senzel were later sidelined after not feeling well. All three have since cleared the protocols and returned to the lineup.
MLB's new COVID-19 injured list comes with no minimum or maximum stay, but players must test negative twice at least 24 hours apart before they can be activated.
The 2020 Operations Manual requires players to self-report any possible COVID-19 symptoms, including headache, fatigue, muscle soreness, and elevated temperature. Neither Moustakas nor Senzel tested positive, creating concern players may hide symptoms to avoid being held out of action. That would be potentially disastrous.
Commissioner Rob Manfred called the COVID-19 situation "manageable" and added "there is no reason to quit now" on Saturday. He'd previously said a "team losing a number of players that rendered it completely non-competitive" would be necessary for MLB to consider canceling the season.
Votto, 36, was 7 for 27 (.259) with five walks and only one strikeout seven games into the new season.
Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant tested negative for COVID-19 on Sunday morning after being a late scratch Saturday night due to a stomach issue, reports ESPN's Jesse Rogers. Bryant was also out of Chicago's lineup on Sunday.