The Nationals were forced to sit out the opening weekend of the 2021 MLB season because of multiple positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing. They now have a new date to begin play.
MLB announced Sunday night that Washington will begin its season Tuesday, April 6, against the Braves at Nationals Park in D.C. MLB.com reported the game is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. ET. The Nats will work out Monday ahead of the new opener.
“The most recent round of tests of Nationals personnel included no new positives,” MLB said in its statement. “All of the Club’s eligible personnel will be able to participate in baseball activities at Nationals Park on Monday.”
MLB postponed the Nationals’ three-game opening series against the Mets (April 1-4) and their home game Monday against the Braves as four Nats player tested positive. Seven other players and two staff members have been forced into quarantine because of contact tracing.
The team has not disclosed any of the names of the players involved, but Nats general manager Mike Rizzo told reporters the “majority” of quarantined players were on the team’s 26-man Opening Day roster.
Rizzo also said the players who tested positive have shown improvement in their conditions. “Any symptoms that they may have been experiencing have subsided,” he told reporters (per MLB.com). “They’re feeling much, much better.”
The Nationals will need to make a series of roster moves prior to Tuesday’s game. That will help to confirm who tested positive and who was forced to quarantine. MLB.com reported that the team expects to call up needed replacements from its alternate site in Fredericksburg, Va.
The Mets have returned no positive tests. They will begin their season Monday at Philadelphia.
No makeup dates have been announced for the postponed games.