OAKLAND—On Thursday, September 3, the Oakland Athletics (A’s) placed Daniel Mengden, a 27-year-old right-handed reliever, on the COVID-19 injury list after he tested positive when the A’s were in Houston last week.
On Sunday, the A’s announced that one member of their traveling party, now revealed to be Mengden, tested positive for the coronavirus. As a result, they postponed their game against the Astros. Despite multiple rounds of negative tests among all the other A’s players, coaches, and staff, Major League Baseball (MLB) postponed the A’s series at the Seattle Mariners this week out of extreme caution.
Mengden is asymptomatic and currently self-isolating at his home in Houston, Texas. Per MLB’s COVID-19 safety protocols, he must quarantine for 14 days and will need to have two negative tests conducted no less than 24 hours apart before the A’s can reinstate him on the roster.
Among numerous other guidelines, the protocol also requires players, coaches, and staff to wear masks while in the bullpen and dugout, but not in the field of play. Both A’s manager Bob Melvin and general manager David Forst said that no one on the A’s team violated these protocols.
Forst expressed this to Susan Slusser of the SF Chronicle: “There was no breaking of protocols here. That’s what’s so scary about this virus: We don’t know how he got it. … A lot of credit goes to our group that was traveling, hopefully keeping their distance and doing the right things.”
Due to the need for contact tracing, the A’s returned to Oakland in two waves this week with those who needed extra testing coming back on Wednesday. The A’s replaced Mengden with left-hander Mike Minor, who they acquired through a trade with the Texas Rangers on Monday, August 31.
On Thursday, September 3, the A’s declared in a press release that MLB cleared them to resume baseball activities today, and their season tomorrow against the San Diego Padres.