Red Sox’s J.D. Martinez becomes third Boston player this week to be placed on COVID-19-related injured list

The Boston Red Sox placed designated hitter J.D. Martinez on the COVID-19-related injured list on Saturday afternoon, ahead of their game against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Martinez hasn’t yet tested positive for the virus. He is, however, expected to undergo testing on Saturday after he reported feeling ill on Friday. “He felt sick last night,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters on Saturday, including Christopher Smith of “He’s been feeling sick the whole day. He’s going to go through testing.”

Martinez, 34 come August 21, has successfully rebounded from a rough 2020. In 104 games this season, he’s hit .284/.350/.525 (133 OPS+) with 21 home runs. He recently made his fourth career All-Star Game. It’s unclear if Martinez is vaccinated based on comments he made earlier this season on the subject.

“They’ve mentioned it to us but that’s not a team decision,” Martinez said. “That’s a personal decision. To each his own. Everybody has the right to believe and to think what they want to think about their body and what they’re putting into their body. Obviously, it’s one of those things where it would be nice to have that kind of advantage but it is what it is.”

Martinez is the third Red Sox player to be placed on the COVID-19-related injured list this week, joining rookie outfielder Jarren Duran and closer Matt Barnes. (Barnes, it should be noted, rejoined the team after testing negative for COVID-19.) The Red Sox reportedly have not crossed the 85-percent threshold for vaccinated tier 1 personnel that would enable the team to enjoy more relaxed restrictions on masking and gathering.

Vaccinated individuals still have a chance of becoming infected by COVID-19, but their chances of having a symptomatic illness are reduced. Meanwhile, their odds of requiring hospitalization or dying from the infection are so greatly reduced as to be trifling. 

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