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Jed Hoyer ‘disappointed’ Chicago Cubs not reaching 85% COVID-19 vaccination threshold

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CHICAGO — Cubs president Jed Hoyer says he’s “disappointed” his team isn’t likely to reach the 85% vaccine threshold which leads to reduced COVID-19 regulations.

“It’s disappointing to not be at 85%, as a team. We’ve worked hard to try and convince or educate the people that have been reluctant. We’re at a place right now — I’m not going to give up hope we’re going to get there — my level of optimism is waning. It is disappointing,” Hoyer said Thursday morning.

About half the teams in baseball are fully vaccinated and qualify for looser restrictions, like the elimination of mask wearing, the ability to used share spaces in clubhouses, indoor and outdoor dining and many other everyday life activities.

“There are conveniences that come with getting to 85% as a group,” Hoyer said. “Mask wearing, dining and things like that, that we would all like to have.”

And many in baseball believe it’s a competitive advantage to get to 85%. Less players are likely to test positive and it changes the dynamic of contact tracing. Players who are close contacts won’t have to sit out games as they await testing.

“There’s a competitive advantage we’re going to miss,” Hoyer said. “Being transparent about it, we’re not a player away from being at 85%. It’s a disappointing thing that we’ll have anxieties and restrictions that others don’t.”

Hoyer indicated he wouldn’t make personnel decisions based on players refusing to listen to their own team doctors, but he seemed perplexed that in a sport with unavoidable injuries, his team isn’t willing to take all precautions.

“This is one that can be avoided and we’re not able to avoid it in some ways,” Hoyer said. “It’s a part of the job I never quite imagined, being involved in that kind of education, that kind of convincing.

Not many players have spoken publicly about their reluctance to take the vaccine while some have questioned the benefit of getting to 85%.

“I don’t necessarily see that as a competitive advantage or disadvantage,” starter Jake Arrieta said. “We have a lot of guys vaccinated. We have not had any cases in the past month, so we’re doing OK as a group. And we’re being careful about where we go and who we’re around.

Hoyer indicated many players have taken the vaccine, just not enough to loosen restrictions. The Cubs had a COVID-19 outbreak scare last month while prepping for a series in Milwaukee. It took out their starting pitcher and several coaches.

“It’s a pretty horrible feeling, pretty helpless feeling,” Hoyer said of that incident. “The fact that we aren’t able to eliminate that is disappointing.” “It’s irrefutable that it eliminates risk.

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White Sox rookie Seby Zavala first in MLB history to hit his first three career home runs in same game

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CHICAGO — White Sox rookie Seby Zavala hit the first three home runs of his career, including a grand slam, but the Cleveland Indians rallied to beat Chicago 12-11 on Saturday night.

Zavala became the first player in big league history to hit his first three career home runs in the same game, according to Elias Sports Bureau. The 27-year-old catcher played his 18th game in the majors — he was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte on July 6 to replace the injured Yasmani Grandal.

Batting ninth, Zavala hit a solo homer in the third off Triston McKenzie. Zavala connected for a grand slam off McKenize in the fourth for a 6-1 lead and a solo drive against Bryan Shaw in the seventh.

With a chance to become the 19th player to hit a record-tying four homers in a game, Zavala singled in the eighth and finished with six RBIs.

Zavala — who will turn 28 on Aug. 28 — played at San Diego State, finishing up with the Aztecs in 2015. Later that year, he was a 12th-round selection by Chicago in the June entry draft. He hit 20 home runs at Triple A Charlotte in 2019.

His magic wasn’t enough to outpace the Indians on this night, however, as Austin Hedges, Owen Miller and Amed Rosario homered to help Cleveland overcome a five-run deficit.

The Indians totaled nine runs in three straight innings to take the lead. Justin Garza (1-0) threw two scoreless innings. Emmanuel Clase got five outs for his 13th save.

Brian Goodwin and Adam Engel homered for the White Sox, who lead the second-place Indians by eight games in the AL Central despite winning just three times in their last 10 games.

Michael Kopech (3-1) took the loss for the White Sox, allowing five earned runs in just one inning of work.

Perhaps more important to the long-term outlook of the White Sox staff, newly acquired Craig Kimbrel pitched a perfect ninth in his first appearance after they acquired him from the Cubs at the trade deadline Friday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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San Diego Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. on 10-day injured list with shoulder trouble

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SAN DIEGO — Star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. of the San Diego Padres was placed on the 10-day injured list Saturday, a day after partially dislocating his left shoulder for the third time this season.

The Padres announced the move prior to their game against the Colorado Rockies. They also placed right-hander Chris Paddack on the IL with an oblique injury.

Tatis, the National League’s starting shortstop in the All-Star Game, was injured Friday night while sliding awkwardly into third base in the first inning against the Rockies. He was in pain as he was led off the field by manager Jayce Tingler and a trainer.

Tingler said Tatis was “a little bit more sore than maybe some of them we’ve had in the past.”

The Padres, who are in third place in the NL West and in control of the second wild-card spot, are keeping their fingers crossed that the electrifying 22-year-old Tatis will be back in 10 days.

Tatis leads the NL with 31 home runs. He’s hitting .292 with 70 RBIs.

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Philadelphia Phillies minor leaguer Daniel Brito suffers medical emergency, postponing Triple-A game

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Philadelphia Phillies minor leaguer Daniel Brito suffered a medical emergency during Saturday’s game between the Rochester Red Wings and Lehigh Valley IronPigs, forcing the Triple-A doubleheader in Rochester, New York, to be postponed.

The IronPigs third baseman began to wobble in the bottom of the first inning of the second game and had to be helped by the Red Wings manager — who was coaching in the third-base box. Brito then lay on the field for approximately 20 minutes and was administered oxygen by a paramedic, according to the Democrat and Chronicle. An ambulance eventually arrived and Brito was taken to a local hospital.

“In the best interest of the players and coaches for both teams, today’s Red Wings doubleheader has been suspended due to a medical emergency on the field in the bottom of the 1st inning,” the Red Wings said in a statement posted to Twitter.

Brito, a 23-year-old from Venezuela whom the Phillies signed in 2015, had recently made his debut in Triple-A.

Rochester won the opening game 3-0.



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