BOSTON — For two straight days, Ron Roenicke said coronavirus test results were pending for left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez.
That changed Sunday.
The Red Sox manager offered no update on the condition of his expected ace. Rodriguez is not with Boston to begin Summer Camp, instead remaining at his home.
“I don’t have anything that I can share with you,” Roenicke said. “Whenever I do, I told you guys I will share it. If there’s something new that I can share, I’ll do that.”
Roenicke disclosed on Saturday that bullpen left-handers Darwinzon Hernandez and Josh Taylor has tested positive for the virus. Hernandez remains at home and must test negative twice before traveling to Boston. Taylor is isolated in a local hotel room.
Major League Baseball’s policy prohibits clubs from issuing coronavirus updates unless the players involved grant their permission. Hernandez and Taylor both authorized Roenicke to speak about their condition. Names from several other organizations have been confirmed, including D.J. LeMahieu (Yankees), Salvador Perez (Royals), Freddie Freeman (Atlanta) and Aaron Nola (Phillies).
Players have also continued to exercise their right to opt out of the 2020 season. Former Red Sox left-hander David Price was among the latest, posting his decision to his social media accounts on Saturday.
“I have decided it is in the best interest of my health and my family’s health for me to not play this season,” Price wrote. “I will miss my teammates and will be cheering for them throughout the season and on to a World Series victory.”
Price was traded along with Mookie Betts to Los Angeles for a package of players that included outfielder Alex Verdugo and minor-leaguers Connor Wong and Jeter Downs. Price’s decision should save the Red Sox roughly $6 million in salary against the Collective Balance Tax — they are still obligated to pay $16 million of his annual salary through the end of his contract in 2022.
“I respect his opinion,” Red Sox outfielder J.D. Martinez said. “It’s a scary time right now. I’m sure he’s doing what he thinks is best for his family. You’ve got to respect that.”
Christian Vazquez had his own personal coach at his Florida home while waiting for baseball to return.
His wife, Gabriela, helped the Red Sox catcher stay sharp for the upcoming season. Vazquez was able to hit live pitching and block balls in the dirt thanks to his wife feeding a pitching machine inside the cage at his house.
“She’s the best,” Vazquez said. “The best one — the best coach. She gets mad when I drop a ball.”
Vazquez enjoyed a career year in 2019, setting personal bests in games played, hits, doubles, home runs, runs batted in, walks, slugging and OPS. The 29-year-old settled nicely into his three-year extension by taking command of Boston’s spot behind the plate.
“I’m ready to roll,” Vazquez said. “I’m ready to get to the playoffs again.
“It’s tough to play without fans, but we need to work. This is our work. We need to play hard and try to win every night and do the best we can.”
Vazquez, his wife and their son, Diego, all traveled for the start of Summer Camp. He has some peace of mind knowing they’re all in a state where coronavirus numbers have been trending down. Diego is just eight months old, born soon after the conclusion of last season.
“It’s a tough decision,” Vazquez said. “I brought them with me here to Boston because I can live with them. We’re safe here with the doctors here. We are in good hands.”
In the swing of things
Mitch Moreland enjoyed Sunday’s live batting practice session far more than the Red Sox pitching staff.
The first baseman sprayed extra-base hits all over Fenway Park. His six at-bats resulted in four doubles and a towering home run to right field that hooked just inside the Pesky Pole before settling in the grandstand.
“Today was about as good a day as you could have from him,” Roenicke said. “But I think it’s nice just to see him swinging the bat well, even in batting practice. He looks good.”
Moreland was an equal opportunity slugger on this occasion, roughing up left-hander Martin Perez and a pair of bullpen right-handers in Austin Brice and Chris Mazza. He took Perez to the base of the Red Sox bullpen for an opening double, peppered the Green Monster on three different occasions and touched up Mazza for the long homer.
“We may end up platooning more like we did last year,” Roenicke said. “But it’s how he’s swinging the bat and how physically he feels.”
Moreland played in just 91 games in 2019, limited by back and leg injuries. It was his first time not reaching triple digits in games since 2014 with the Rangers. Moreland pounded out 17 doubles and 19 homers despite the limited duty, good for an .835 OPS.
“We know at times he’s a little banged up but he wants to go out and play,” Roenicke said. “He’s one of those guys that we call gamers. Sometimes, production-wise, it hurts him.”
The Red Sox could make a significant adjustment to their workout schedule later this week.
Boston has started each of its first three Summer Camp sessions at 10 a.m. That time figures to creep towards the afternoon and, eventually, into the summer night at Fenway Park to mirror the upcoming regular season.
“We think that’s also an important thing we do in camp,” Roenicke said. “When we start regular spring training, we have so many 1 o’clock games that we try to set the schedule up so we can get work in before we play. That changes right now.”
The Red Sox are targeting Thursday for their first intersquad game. That would allow Nathan Eovaldi to make his next start during his normal five-day interval. Eovaldi was impressive in three innings of live batting practice on Saturday.
“Right now that’s what we plan to do,” Roenicke said. “We know it’s important for Nate to get in that first [intrasquad] game. We should roll on right from there.”
With Rodriguez at home while awaiting coronavirus test results, Eovaldi would line up to start Opening Day if he pitches again Thursday and remains on his regular schedule. Roenicke wasn’t ready to name his first starter as of Sunday, but Boston will continue to move towards cementing its lineup and roster throughout the upcoming week.
“At the end of spring training — probably the last week — there will be some night workouts,” Roenicke said. “We’ll try to get used to playing those night games, getting guys in their right sleep patterns. Most of the season is going to be night games.”
On Twitter: @BillKoch25