Austin Riley has been absent from the Atlanta Braves lineup for several days and now we have an understanding of why. Now it appears that we have some clarity on the situation as MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports that Riley cleared COVID protocols this morning and is expected to return to the lineup on Wednesday.
Austin Riley cleared COVID protocols this morning. He is expected to return to the Braves lineup on Wednesday.— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) March 15, 2021
Brian Snitker was asked about Riley Sunday and he said that he had looked good in a recent sim-game and was slated to return to the lineup Monday. However, Riley was scratched this morning and the reason at that point was unclear.
Austin Riley will be away from the team for at least a couple days. The Braves can’t give the reason right now.— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) March 15, 2021
Riley was later seen on the field taking batting practice with the team which added more mystery to the situation. Teams need a player’s permission to disclose health information. It seems that Riley was possibly exposed or was experiencing symptoms that required him to undergo more testing. Having passed the protocols he is cleared to resume team activities.
Riley is penciled in as the Braves’ starting third baseman for Opening Day. He has appeared in six games so far this spring and has gone 5-for-14 at the plate.