Rockies manager Bud Black said watching his team play eight games without him, while he sat in lockdown from home, was bizarre.
He had been out since July 16 due the MLB's COVID and contact tracing protocols, but tried his best to watch games on TV the same way he would from the dugout. But on Monday, after clearing protocol, he took his usual place on the top step.
Black, who is fully vaccinated, had not managed the team since before the All-Star break. Bench coach Mike Redmond served as the acting manager while Black was out. Black stayed connected to the team, talking with Redmond and the other coaches regularly, in addition to texting players.
"I didn’t feel detached," Black said. "It was just weird, different being away and having the team on the field."
Black was part of a storm of Rockies' players and coaches ineligible to play because of COVID and contact tracing. First base coach Ron Gideon returned Friday, and outfielder Yonathan Daza and pitchers Yency Almonte, Jhoulys Chacín and Antonio Senzatela are inching closer.
They are all in Arizona, and have also cleared protocols, but need to ramp back up before they can return to the team. Daza and Chacín will play in an Arizona League game Tuesday. Almonte will throw a bullpen session Tuesday, and Senzatela threw a bullpen Monday and could make a minor league start this weekend.
The Rockies' tier one employees, which includes all coaches and players, have been above the 85 percent threshold needed to relax restrictions since April.
McMahon out again
Ryan McMahon is out of the lineup for the second straight day. He said he woke up Sunday and felt stiff and sore, especially in his Achilles. He underwent treatment before the game Monday, and lobbied to be used as the designated hitter, but was not successful. He took full batting practice Monday.