Houston Astros without 8 pitchers due to COVID-19 protocols

The Houston Astros are without eight pitchers at their spring training camp after they were sent home due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, manager Dusty Baker said Friday.

General manager James Click would not say if any players had tested positive, but Baker said pitchers Bryan Abreu, Luis Garcia, Ronel Blanco, Cristian Javier, Pedro Baez, Enoli Paredes and Hector Velazquez are absent from the team's camp in West Palm Beach, Florida.

"Part of the reason that so many players are away from camp for health and safety (protocols) is because we want to cast a wide net," Click told reporters. "And the protocols cast a wide net to make sure if there are delays between contagious stages and positive test results, that those don't lead to an outbreak.

"We are following Major League Baseball's health and safety protocols and this is what they call for. We and the league believe that, by following them, we will ensure the rest of the guys are not exposed and we can continue to get ready for the season."

The Astros continue to have a seven-inning game against the Marlins and a five-inning "B game" against the Cardinals scheduled for Friday.
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