Before opening up a three-game series against the Tigers in Detroit on Tuesday night, the Red Sox placed All-Star closer Matt Barnes on the COVID-19 related injured list.
In a corresponding move, veteran utility man Marwin Gonzalez was recalled from his rehab assignment with Triple-A Worcester and reinstated from the 10-day injured list, the club announced earlier Tuesday evening.
Barnes, who is vaccinated against COVID-19, has not tested positive for the virus, though he has displayed symptoms that have left him feeling under the weather and — as a result — is currently quarantining in the team hotel in Detroit, according to Red Sox manager Alex Cora.
Cora told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Chris Cotill0) prior to Tuesday’s contest against the Tigers that the Sox were tested as a group earlier in the day and every test result (excluding Barnes’) thus far has come back negative. That group includes an unnamed player who experienced symptoms similar to Barnes’, but wound up testing negative.
Because Barnes is currently in quarantine, the Red Sox will be without the 31-year-old right-hander for Tuesday’s series opener at Comerica Park, though he could be activated from the COVID IL at any time if his PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test does indeed come back negative.
If he tests positive however, Barnes will be required to remain on the COVID IL and will be placed in mandatory quarantine for at least 10 days, which, in turn, would result in the Red Sox triggering additional virus-related protocols, per Cotillo.
Barnes, who was named to his first All-Star team this summer and is in the midst of a career year, initially tested positive for COVID back in March, but was only sidelined for two days on account of subsequent test results.
While Barnes will be held out of action on Tuesday at the very least, the Red Sox will gain some position player flexibility by activating Gonzalez from the conventional injured list.
Gonzalez, 32, has been sidelined with a right hamstring strain he suffered while running out a ground ball in the second inning of a game against the Phillies at Fenway Park back on July 11.
Later placed on the 10-day IL on July 16, the switch-hitting infielder/outfielder was able to begin a rehab assignment with Worcester this past Friday.
In two games for the WooSox in which he played five innings of second base and seven innings of first base against the Buffalo Bisons at Polar Park over the weekend, Gonzalez went 2-for-6 (.333) with one home run, one RBI, one run scored, one walk, and one strikeout over seven plate appearances.
Gonzalez will be making his 28th start at second base this season for Boston while batting out of the seven-hole on Tuesday night.
Here is how the rest of the Red Sox will be lining up behind right-hander Garrett Richards:
First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.
(Picture of Matt Barnes: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)