Cubs first-base coach Driver tests positive for COVID
The Cubs hardly needed a reminder to be diligent about safety protocols, but they found out this week first base coach Craig Driver tested positive for COVID-19. He did not make the trip to Pittsburgh.
Manager David Ross said the Cubs have done extra testing in response; it will be five straight days of tests by Sunday. So they feel comfortable it didn't spread.
"Obviously it's a little bit different and stressful," Ross said. "You're kind of hoping for the best, but expecting the worst and luckily we've come out so far OK.
"Craig's doing OK. I think he's just a little under the weather, but was happy to see us score a lot of runs (Thursday). He said he would stay away as long as we kept putting up those type of runs. So he's in good spirits as far as that goes."
In addition to regular testing, everyone wear monitors at the ballpark, which automatically record contact tracing. But the Cubs have also tried to stay on top of mask-wearing and being distanced when possible.
And vaccinations have begun. Ross has not given an estimate of how many Cubs players have received the vaccine, but MLB has said teams that reach 85% can relax some of the protocols.
"Really the goal is 100 percent, let's be honest," Ross said. "The goal should be 100 percent. That's what we're shooting for. Again, each person has their own views and things, but we'll just continue to try to educate and encourage them as much as we can to get vaccinated."
Caratini catches history:
The Cubs took notice of former teammate Victor Caratini being on the receiving end of the no-hitter thrown by San Diego's Joe Musgrove on Friday.
Caratini is reportedly the first player to catch consecutive no-hitters for two different teams. He was in the lineup last Sept. 13 when Alec Mills tossed a no-hitter in Milwaukee.
"I did text him and he texted me back," Cubs manager David Ross said. "I saw the emotion on his face. It seemed really neat. After reading the story behind it, a San Diego kid going back home and him feeling like he was destined to be there and have that happen, first in San Diego history, all those things. I know how special that is as a catcher."
When he played for the Cubs, Ross caught Jake Arrieta's no-hitter at Cincinnati on April 21, 2016. Musgrove is a San Diego native who was traded from the Pirates to the Padres over the winter. Caratini was sent from the Cubs to the Padres as part of the Yu Darvish trade,
Romine takes field:
The players hanging out at the Cubs' alternate site in South Bend played a game Saturday against Detroit. At least, they tried to play. The game was rained out in the bottom of the first inning.
The game featured second baseman Nico Hoerner in the leadoff spot and Austin Romine at catcher. Hoerner grounded out in the bottom of the first, then Romine singled and Nick Martini doubled as the rain arrived. Pitcher Cory Abbott threw a perfect inning in the top of the first.