How does the COVID IL work?

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  • #136029
    jlshetler
    Participant

    Free

    What are the mechanics of the COVID IL? In particular:

    (1) What makes a player eligible for being placed on it, and being activated from it? The media talks about the requirement for two negative tests before rejoining the team. Gomber was placed on the list without ever testing positive, presumably from exposure to or symptoms of the virus, and then was activated… under what qualifications? He spent four days on the COVID IL. If no positive test is required, what prevents a team from misusing this list to sideline a player for less than ten days?

    (2) It appears that placement on the COVID IL might or might not remove the player from the 40-man roster. How does this work? Can a team decide in retrospect which players put on the list were removed from the 40-man? Brian’s excellent Roster Matrix currently (08/20) shows that there are presumably 47 players on the 40-man roster right now. With two players on the 45-day IL (Brebbia and Mikolas) and one on the RL (Hicks) that equals a whopping 50 players under major-league contract. Will the usual mechanics apply when sick players return to the team and recent additions are sent back down? Can other teams claim them off waivers?

    -Joe

    #136033
    Brian Walton
    Keymaster

    Paid - Annual

    Joe, you asked a lot of good questions.

    To the last one, I posted a detailed article for members just yesterday. It explains a lot of your questions and goes through how many players will have to be removed from the roster when the team is back to full strength. Take a look at that and if you have specifics about the article, please ask it over on the Members Forum in the “Summer Camp – Roster Prediction” thread. I am fine with general questions in either forum…

    Who May the Cardinals Soon Remove from the 40-Man Roster?

    #136034
    Brian Walton
    Keymaster

    Paid - Annual

    To your first question, MLB has to approve before players are put on the special COVID IL. So teams can’t misuse it.

    The players on that IL can be removed from the 40-man (and from the 60-man pool) temporarily, but teams do not have to do this. And they do not have to specify which ones. Hence the confusing situation where there appears to be 47 players on a roster that can hold just 40.

    As far as taking players off the COVID IL, again this must be approved by MLB. The Operations Manual spells out the details, but it includes:

    – being in quarantine for seven days for those who test positive
    – two negative tests more than 24 hours apart
    – complete an antibody test
    – complete a cardiac evaluation

    But then there are two more steps the Cardinals added:

    – work out at Busch doing light activities for a few days
    – play games at the alternate camp

    Then, the team activates them. However, for veterans like Molina, DeJong and Martinez, they seem to be skipping the final, Springfield step.

    Of course, those who were asymptomatic may be able to get through the protocols quicker than others who had to deal with symptoms. Other than Molina, who was asymptomatic, those details were kept private.

    #136041
    Brian Walton
    Keymaster

    Paid - Annual

    In the case of Gomber, their contact tracing told them Gomber was in contact with a positive case. So, they decided to isolate him to ensure he did not carry it to the team. Especially given what they just went through, I would find it hard to be critical of the Cardinals being cautious.

    In hindsight, I wonder if them waiting two more days (from Monday to Wednesday) to activate Gomber was driven by the desire to get more days of negative tests. Or maybe MLB hadn’t yet approved him to be activated. (All just speculation on my part.)

    #136208
    jlshetler
    Participant

    Free

    Brian, thanks as always for your very thoughtful and informative answers. In this confusing time especially, it is great to have a resource who can help people who want to follow the mechanics of the game this closely.
    -Joe

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