CLEVELAND — Indians third baseman José Ramírez and slugger Franmil Reyes rejoined their teammates at training camp Tuesday after being banned for breaking COVID-19 protocols.
The players tested negative for the coronavirus and were back at the team’s facility in Goodyear, Arizona. They are scheduled to play in Wednesday’s exhibition against the Los Angeles Angels.
Ramírez and Reyes had been isolated at their temporary spring training homes since Saturday after they went out to dinner indoors, which violated virus guidelines set by Major League Baseball and the players’ union.
Indians manager Terry Francona said Ramírez and Reyes addressed the team after returning and spoke “in a very thoughtful and sincere way.”
Francona said any team discipline against the players would stay internal.
“The idea is never to embarrass anybody, and I explained that to José and Franmil,” he said. “I’m really comfortable where we are right now. And like anything that doesn’t go perfect, where you go from there is what’s really meaningful. I think we’re gonna be OK.”
It’s the second time Reyes has broken the rules. Last year, he attended a July Fourth party without wearing a mask, a violation the team learned of from a social media post.
On Friday, Reyes went to get a haircut after the Indians played the Chicago Cubs in an exhibition game in Mesa, Arizona, and then he and Ramírez joined others for dinner.
Francona said some of the COVID-19 guidelines have been fluid this spring.
“We have tried to make sure we keep in the loop every morning,” he said. “Technically on March 1, the guys were going to be allowed to dine at restaurants and then the night before, we got a memo saying no, hold off on that.
“And then I think it was about three days later that they got outdoor dining — it’s kind of a moving target at times. So we’ve really tried to keep players in the loop.”
Following Cleveland’s 9-2 win over Texas, Indians outfielder Daniel Johnson said Ramírez and Reyes have been forgiven.
“It was an honest mistake, whatever happened,” said Johnson, who homered twice on Tuesday. “A lot of our guys wanted them back. Stick to the same guidelines. We trust that they won’t do that again. They’re all good guys.”
Indians 9, Rangers 2
Are young Indians hitters such as Bobby Bradley, Daniel Johnson and Yu Chang a bit underrated based on the offensive firepower they can provide?
If that’s the case, they might not be for much longer.
Bradley homered and drove in a pair of runs with an opposite-field double, and Johnson added two solo blasts Tuesday as Cleveland grabbed a 9-2 victory over Texas at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Ariz.