COVID-19 symptoms land Texas Rangers reliever Dennis Santana on injured list

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers reliever Dennis Santana was placed on the COVID-19 injured list after he arrived at the ballpark with symptoms before Thursday night's game, and tested to determine if he was positive.

General manager Chris Young said the team was conferring with Major League Baseball about protocols and working to determine any necessary contact tracing. Young, who didn't know the results of the test when he spoke to media before the game against the Los Angeles Angels, didn't say what symptoms Santana had.

"We're in contact with the league, and going to continue to follow [protocol]. It's changed a little bit from last year," Young said. "But we'll follow MLB's guidance on that, and do everything as required to make sure we're protecting everyone."

The move came four days after Santana and the Rangers returned from a season-opening series in Toronto, where all players had to be vaccinated to travel to Canada. Every player also had to test last weekend before returning to the United States, and all were negative.

Young said Santana felt fine Tuesday, when the Rangers had last played before having a day off Wednesday.

"We want to be proactive in making sure that we're doing everything possible," Young said. "But we just learned of this and are ... following the necessary steps to make sure we protect everybody, whether it's COVID or not."

By going on the COVID IL, Santana will have to miss a minimum of five days, and have no symptoms for at least the last two days.

The Rangers recalled right-hander Nick Snyder from Triple-A Round Rock to replace Santana on the roster.

Texas also Thursday activated right-hander Garrett Richards from the 10-day injured list, after the reliever started the season on the IL with a blister on his right middle finger blister.

Right-hander Spencer Howard, who had been the scheduled starter Friday, was put on the 10-day IL because of a cracked fingernail that was causing a blister. That move was retroactive to Monday.

Opening day starter Jon Gray already was on the injured list because of a blister. The right-hander is eligible to be activated as early as Tuesday.