Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Darwinzon Hernandez tested positive for COVID-19 in Venezuela and has not reported to Boston yet. Another Red Sox lefty reliever, Josh Taylor, also test positive for the virus. Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

Red Sox lefty relievers Darwinzon Hernandez and Josh Taylor have tested positive for COVID-19, Manager Ron Roenicke announced Saturday.

Taylor tested positive after arriving in Boston for intake screening earlier this week and is isolating in a nearby hotel room. Hernandez tested positive at home in Venezuela and has not yet flown to Boston for camp.

Roenicke declined to say if either lefty was exhibiting symptoms. The Red Sox have one more player with a pending test from intake screening and are still awaiting results on lefty Eduardo Rodriguez, who delayed his departure for training camp after being exposed to someone who may have had COVID-19.

“We have everybody here, pretty much,” Roenicke said. “We do have one player who is pending, and I really can’t say much more about it than that. I think we’re fortunate… for the guys in the intake to only have one player positive. I think that’s fortunate.”

Hernandez, who pitched in 10 games for the Portland Sea Dogs in 2019, and Taylor, who pitched in 33 games for Portland in 2018, both emerged as bullpen weapons as rookies in 2019 and are each expected to play key roles in relief this season. Though it’s currently unclear if the positive tests will cause the pitchers to miss Opening Day on July 23 or 24, the short, three-week ramp-up period makes it tough to envision either being on the Opening Day roster.

“Anytime right now that we have some positive tests, it does impact the start of the season,” Roenicke said. “I can’t tell you that (they) are not going to be ready, because it depends on how long (they have had) the virus. We think (Taylor) is a little farther along, hopefully he’ll start getting some negative tests back pretty soon and we’ll go from there.”

On Friday, Roenicke announced that the Red Sox had “some” positive tests but declined to reveal the identities of the players. He was only able to name Hernandez and Taylor because both players gave him permission to do so.

Major League Baseball announced Friday that 31 players (and seven staff members) had tested positive for COVID-19 out of the 3,185 people tested in the initial round of intake testing. Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, Royals catcher Salvador Perez and Padres outfielder Tommy Pham are the most notable players to test positive so far.


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