Minnesota Twins shortstop Andrelton Simmons has tested positive for COVID-19, president of baseball operations Derek Falvey revealed Wednesday morning, April 14, ahead of the team’s doubleheader against the Boston Red Sox.
Simmons was placed on the COVID-19 injured list and the Twins called up JT Riddle to take his place on the roster. Falvey said Simmons was exhibiting “very mild” symptoms. The Twins have done subsequent testing and cleared everyone else in the environment that might have been a contact, Falvey said.
Simmons, who played for the Angels for five seasons, will miss out on a reunion with his former teammates when the Twins head to Anaheim this weekend. While the length of time Simmons will be out is uncertain, Falvey said it will be at least 10 days from the time of the test, which was a couple of days ago.
“We have to monitor his symptoms and determine whether or not he remains symptomatic or if there’s a change in symptoms,” Falvey said. “If he doesn’t and he persists in everything just kind of as-is, much like J.A. Happ when we had the beginning of major league camp, if we can test him at the end of this process then he can return in 10 days.”
As of Wednesday morning, Falvey had yet to speak with Simmons, who interviewed with the Twins’ trainers as part of the protocol process on Tuesday night, and had no information as to how Simmons might have come into contact with the virus.
As a group, many Twins players received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after the Twins’ home opener last Thursday. Simmons tweeted in late March that he was not planning on getting vaccinated.
“I’ve received some questions and some requests regarding the vaccine. And for personal reasons and past experience I will not be taking it or advocating for it,” he tweeted. “I hope I don’t have to explain myself. And hope you all make the best decision for you and your family’s health.”
Simmons confirmed Sunday that he did not get the vaccine when his teammates did.
While other players have tested positive — Happ, Miguel Sano and Willians Astudillo among them — none have done so during the season when the Twins are playing within a controlled environment with many health and safety protocols in place. While most of the team is now vaccinated, Falvey has said the Twins are hoping to get to 100 percent and seeing the virus enter their clubhouse might potentially help convince vaccine holdouts.
“Knowing this is in our environment now and knowing we’ve come in contact with it — it’s the first time within our environment — hopefully it will prompt maybe others to ask more questions of our medical staff to learn as much as they can to take the next steps,” Falvey said.