Brad Brach’s coronavirus case is familiar and at times scary, but the story has a happy ending: newborn twin sons.
Upon rejoining the Mets on Saturday, the righthanded reliever revealed that he missed all of camp and Opening Day because he tested positive for COVID-19. He called it “a family sickness” because his wife, Jenae, who was very pregnant, also got sick. The Brachs welcomed their sons into the world last week, and now everybody is healthy and happy.
“It was obviously a little bit of a scary situation there because you just don’t know how it’s going to affect (the babies),” Brach said. “But just really happy and glad to be back and just glad my wife’s feeling good and the boys are safe and everybody’s going to be all right.”
The story starts in late June, when Brach, living in the Nashville area, felt unwell. He figured it was a cold or a sinus infection, so he drove to New York for the start of camp. When he arrived, he realized he couldn’t taste his sandwich.
“I knew I was going to test positive,” he said.
Then he did. And so did Jenae. Overall, Brach said, the symptoms in both cases were mild. He was mostly worried about his kids and being present for their birth, which he was.
“That was kind of the emotional roller coaster I was on, more so than the baseball stuff because I knew that was going to be two or three weeks away,” Brach said. “But the boys could’ve come at any point, so it was kind of just hoping that it all kind of fell into place. We’re so grateful that both of us were more than 14 days past (the onset), the doctor allowed us both to be there in the hospital together with them, while they were being born, and was able to stay the whole time. It couldn’t have worked out better, honestly.”
Baseball-wise, Brach said he was limited to light throwing in his hotel room and “random parks in the area where nobody was around” during those couple of weeks. He threw a bullpen session Saturday at Citi Field but didn’t want to estimate when he might be able to return from the injured list.
“My last three or four pitches (Saturday), it was probably three or four too many in the bullpen,” Brach said. “But it was kind of nice to at least know where my window was at right now and I got between 25 and 30 pitches.
“It’s tough to put a timeline on it exactly because I just don’t know if there are going to be any repercussions here from having COVID.”
Hughes here, too
Reliever Jared Hughes joined the Mets about a week ago and is closer than Brach to being activated, manager Luis Rojas said. He is scheduled to throw live batting practice Sunday.
Hughes, who signed a major-league deal with the Mets in late June, missed most of camp and is on the IL for an undisclosed reason. That only happens for coronavirus-related reasons, but teams are not allowed to reveal a positive COVID-19 test unless the player gives the OK.
Wacha set for Monday
Righthander Michael Wacha will make his Mets debut Monday against the Red Sox in Boston.
But with Marcus Stroman (torn left calf muscle) on the injured list, Rojas wasn’t ready Saturday to reveal who the No. 5 starter will be. The probable pitcher for Tuesday is to be decided/announced.
Corey Oswalt, who worked as a starter in camp, is on the roster.
“We have guys right now with us, depth guys that definitely profile to do something like that,” Rojas said.
Rojas added that Rick Porcello (Sunday) and Wacha should be able to throw up to 100 pitches.
The Red Sox claimed lefthander Stephen Gonsalves off waivers from the Mets, who designated him for assignment on Wednesday ... Seth Lugo on Edwin Diaz this year: “He looks like, mentally, the same guy. He’s ready to get out there and shove. He’s got his confidence and he’s got that chip on his shoulder. I think that’s going to help him a lot.” That was a few hours before Diaz gave up a tying homer to Marcell Ozuna with two outs in the ninth inning.