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The Phillies place four players on the COVID-19 list of injured

4:03: These four players were really placed on the COVID-19 injured list, per Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer (via Twitter). This does not necessarily mean that the players have tested positive for the virus; The list also includes players who have shown symptoms that are compatible with infection or who have had contact with someone else who is infected.

1:54: The Phillies appear to have placed four players on the 10-day injured list. While the team has not yet made a formal announcement, the MLB.com transaction page indicates Scott Kingery, Hector Neris, Tommy Hunter and Ranger Suarez have all been placed on IL. No reason stated.

Given the lack of a formal announcement and the lack of specified injuries, there are certain speculations about COVID-1

9 among these four players. The league has already made clear that teams will not be required to name players who are on the injured list for COVID-19 reasons. In a statement to ESPN’s Marly Rivera yesterday, MLB offered the following:

Since COVID-19 is not considered an employment-related injury, we will respect the integrity of players who test positive or who are under evaluation, and we will postpone their requests for public updates on their status. Without their voluntary consent, we will not disclose COVID-19 related information.

It should be emphasized that a player does not need to test positive for the virus to be placed on IL for COVID-19. Players who exhibit symptoms and those who have come into contact with people who have tested positive can also be placed on the IL for precautionary reasons. Once on IL for a positive COVID-19 test or for symptoms / contact reasons, a player must test negative twice to be reintroduced.

Additional contexts may eventually emerge, but for now we know that the Phillies have several key players on the side until at least the end of next week (IL placements are retroactive to June 30). Kingery is expected to play an everyday role in the infield this year, though his superlative defensive skills would allow skipper Joe Girardi to connect him virtually anywhere on the diamond while offering good gloves. Neris entered the season as it was clearly closer to Philadelphia, and veteran Hunter would have filled an installation role. Suarez gave Phil’s 48 2/3 frames of 3.14 ERA from the bullpen last year and had also positioned himself as an important contributor.

An extended absence for Kingery might open the door to the main third base perspective Alec Bohm (with Jean Segura staffing second base). Non-winter veterans like Neil Walker, Logan Forsythe and Josh Harrison is also in the Phillies’ 60-man player pool. Absent the three arms placed on the IL, an already injured bull would be even more problematic. It is not clear who would enter the ninth inning if Neris were inaccessible, but the trio Neris, Suarez and Hunter can all play important late inning roles in 2020, allowing health.

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