LEADING OFF: Padres depleted by virus, Harvey vs Mets

San Diego Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr. celebrates his solo home run as he scores during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Friday, April 23, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

A look at what’s happening around the majors today:

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PADRES DEPLETED

San Diego shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. and outfielder Wil Myers tested positive for COVID-19, and the Padres are shorthanded heading into a doubleheader against Colorado at Coors Field.

First baseman Eric Hosmer is out for contact tracing, along with utility players Jurickson Profar and Jorge Mateo. Padres manager Jayce Tingler said Tuesday night he hoped the fallout from the virus would stop and anticipated his team could play the single-admission twinbill as scheduled to make up Monday night’s postponement. Both games are scheduled for seven innings.

Hosmer and Myers were removed Tuesday night in the middle of an 8-1 win over the Rockies, leaving San Diego scrambling for replacements.

“You never really plan out these scenarios, but we know things are going to come up,” Tingler said. “Our guys are going to be ready. If they’re coming from Triple-A or whatever, we’ve got a lot of faith in our minor league crew that’s preparing these guys.”

Yu Darvish (3-1, 2.27 ERA) and Blake Snell (1-0, 4.15) are slated to start for the Padres in the doubleheader.

Tingler said he learned of Tatis’ positive test in a phone call late Monday night, but the young star was symptom-free at the moment.

“Naturally, you’re punched in the stomach a little bit,” Tingler said. “He’s feeling well. I mean he is crushed, he’s crushed inside, mentally, things like that.”

Tatis spent time on the injured list last month with inflammation in his left shoulder. He leads the Padres with nine homers and 23 runs.

Snell looks to bounce back from walking six in 4 2/3 innings against San Francisco. The 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner hasn’t lasted more than 5 1/3 innings in any of his seven starts for the Padres since being acquired from Tampa Bay. He’s struggled with his control, too, walking 21 in 30 1/3 innings.

BATMAN RETURNS

Former Mets ace Matt Harvey will face New York for the first time since unceremoniously splitting with the team in a 2018 trade to Cincinnati. Harvey, now with the Orioles, returned to Citi Field with the Reds later that season but did not pitch.

“Harvey Day” was once appointment viewing in Queens, with fans wearing Batman attire to support the right-hander known as the Dark Knight. Injuries and various malfeasance — including a day in 2017 when Harvey failed to show up for a game — brought a rapid end to his prime.

After struggling through stints with Cincinnati, the Los Angeles Angels and Kansas City, the 32-year-old has added a sinker and found success with Baltimore, going 3-2 with a 3.60 ERA in seven starts.

“I think he’s appreciative of the opportunity and he’s running with it,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “I know he’s in a good place right now.”

VIRUS ISSUES FOR YANKEES STAFF

Gerrit Cole (4-1, 1.61 ERA) pitches for the Yankees at rival Tampa Bay, but it’s unclear which New York staff members will be available. Third base coach Phil Nevin and first base coach Reggie Willits are away from the team after positive COVID-19 tests.

Following a 3-1 win in the series opener Tuesday night, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said another staff member tested positive as well, but did not provide further details. All three coaches mentioned are fully vaccinated.

Several coaches missed the game due to contact tracing, but Boone said the tracing did not include any players.

Nevin was under quarantine protocol in Tampa, Florida.

“He’s doing OK,” Boone said.

Bench coach Carlos Mendoza replaced Nevin at third base Tuesday, and minor league coordinator Mario Garza filled in for Willits at first.

Pitching coach Matt Blake was not visible in the bullpen area when starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery warmed up before Tuesday’s game.

“There’s a few people that we sent home just as a precaution to make sure,” Boone said before the game. “We’re doing all we can to stay healthy. A little bit of a skeleton staff but nothing we can’t handle.”

The Yankees on April 30 were able to relax MLB protocols after reaching an 85% vaccination rate among players and staff such as managers, coaches and athletic trainers.

“We’ll have to definitely evaluate and make sure we’re doing everything we possibly can to prevent things from happening,” Boone said.

ROCKET’S GREEN GLARE

Juan Soto, J.D. Martinez and Freddie Freeman might not be the only ones blasting objects into orbit. NASA plans another attempt to launch its Black Brant XII sounding rocket on Wednesday shortly after 8 p.m. EDT.

The rocket will create green and violet clouds that might be visible for a short period along the East Coast and beyond. Games are scheduled to be in progress at Atlanta, Washington and Boston at the time — so if players and fans suddenly start looking up into the night sky, no, they’re not really in outer space.

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