Braves lose both their catchers hours before opening day because of coronavirus symptoms

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The Atlanta Braves, hours before their opening day game against the New York Mets, are giving us an example of how playing baseball during a pandemic can quickly turn chaotic.

Both Braves catchers, Tyler Flowers and Travis d'Arnaud, won’t be available to play Friday after showing coronavirus symptoms. Mark Bowman of MLB.com says both players tested negative but are back in Atlanta.

The Braves, instead, summoned two catchers from their taxi squad:

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While things like this are to be expected — and exactly the reason MLB teams have these so-called taxi squads of minor league players nearby — it’s not exactly what teams want to happen hours before the first pitch of their season.

It follows Thursday’s news that Washington Nationals star Juan Soto had tested positive before his team’s opening night game against the Yankees. Soto was immediately sidelined. He test happened Tuesday, but since Soto is asymptomatic, there were still questions about how much contact he had with teammates between his test and his positive results.

Players need two negative tests before they can return to their teams.

Take this as a reminder that while baseball tries to celebrate a little bit of normalcy with an opening day, the coronavirus cases are still rising every day in this country.

Atlanta Braves Catcher Tyler Flowers isn't with the team for opening day after showing coronavirus symptoms. (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Atlanta Braves Catcher Tyler Flowers isn't with the team for opening day after showing coronavirus symptoms. (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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