Prior to Tuesday’s series opener in Detroit to start a three-game set against the Tigers, Alex Cora announced that Matt Barnes was being placed on the COVID list. Importantly, it was clarified that neither Barnes nor anyone else on the team has tested positive. Rather, the Red Sox closer was feeling under the weather and he is being placed on the list as the team awaits the return of their test results. A similar situation unfolded with J.D. Martinez early in this season, and he spent one day off the roster.
Matt Barnes is sick, so he goes to the COVID-19 related IL. Cora says there are no positive tests yet.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) August 3, 2021
In the meantime, the Red Sox do also have to fill that roster spot, and Chris Cotillo is reporting that Marwin Gonzalez is expected to be activated off the injured list to expand the bench for at least one more day. The veteran utility player hit the injured list with a hamstring issue in mid-July.
Barnes did not test positive. Red Sox got tested as a team and have all negatives to this point. Expecting a Barnes test back tonight.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) August 3, 2021
Marwin Gonzalez expected to be activated off the IL and take Barnes' spot. https://t.co/6m3Ssvr2LR
My guess — and that is only what this is — is that Jonathan Araúz would go down if and when Barnes is activated for Wednesday’s game. For tonight, if the Red Sox need a save I would expect either Adam Ottavino or Josh Taylor to get the call, depending on the handedness of the batters coming up for Detroit.
Gonzalez, meanwhile, will rejoin a lineup in need of a spark. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to do that too much this year, slashing just .205/.286/.297 for a 59 OPS+. He was, however, swinging a little bit of a better bat before getting hurt with a .340 OBP in his last 16 games before hitting the injured list, though the power also wasn’t showing up.