Gabe Burns of the AJC reported on Thursday afternoon that Max Fried has been “potentially exposed” to COVID-19 and therefore will not start Friday’s spring training game against the Minnesota Twins.
Max Fried was potentially exposed to COVID-19, so that’s why he isn’t starting tomorrow. He has not tested positive.— Gabe Burns (@GabeBurnsAJC) March 4, 2021
He does note that Fried has not actually tested positive for the virus, so this is more of a precaution. The Athletic’s David O’Brien also reported that Snitker said the team plans to “lay low” with Fried for a couple days. This reporting seems to indicate that Fried should be back and available to resume his preparation for the season in a few days as long as he continues to test negative for the virus.
Charlie Morton is slotted to start the game on Saturday against the Rays, but it’s still unclear who will start on Friday. Kyle Wright pitched last Sunday, so he could pitch Friday on four days rest, although it’s uncertain whether the team would want him to do that this early in spring. Other than Morton and Wright, all of the other opening day rotation candidates have pitched this week and are unlikely to be used as the starter for Friday’s game. The team may just opt to start the game with a camp body to avoid overusing the main pieces.