WASHINGTON — Just a few days after the Nationals kicked off the post-pandemic season, Mike Rizzo, President of Baseball Operations and General Manager for the team, is hitting the brakes.
Rizzo canceled the scheduled team workout Monday because they still haven't received Friday's coronavirus test results.
"Per MLB’s protocol, all players and staff were tested for COVID-19 on Friday, July 3. Seventy-two hours later, we have yet to receive the results of those tests," Rizzo said. "We cannot have our players and staff work at risk. Therefore, we have cancelled our team workout scheduled for this morning."
The cancellation comes after the Nationals began summer training camp on July 4.
Following training camp, a tentative 60-game regular-season start date is expected for later this month, July 23 or 24, with teams returning to empty stadiums.
But Rizzo said that tentative plan is now in jeopardy.
"We will not sacrifice the health and safety of our players, staff and their families. Without accurate and timely testing it is simply not safe for us to continue with Summer Camp. Major League Baseball needs to work quickly to resolve issues with their process and their lab. Otherwise, Summer Camp and the 2020 Season are at risk," Rizzo's statement reads.
Several MLB stars have already opted out of the season, citing health and safety concerns, including the Nats' Ryan Zimmerman.
According to the league, 31 Major League Baseball players and seven staff members tested positive during the first intake for training, a rate of 1.2%.