Indians starting pitcher Zach Plesac said he regrets leaving the team hotel in Chicago for a dinner out with friends — an action that got him dispatched back to Cleveland alone.
His dining experience violated league rules designed to keep teams’ traveling parties safe from the coronavirus.
“I would like to apologize to my teammates, the entire Cleveland organization and all of our fans for my actions Saturday evening,” Plesac said in a statement. “I realize I made a poor choice to leave the hotel, which broke protocols and could have endangered other people. I understand that in these times of uncertainty, I need to be more vigilant and responsible and I am determined to earn my teammates’ forgiveness and get back to work.”
The team sent Plesac, 25, back home via car, not willing to take the risk of allowing him to fly with the team to Cleveland, where the Indians will play a brief two-game series with the Chicago Cubs before heading back on the road. He will be quarantined and must undergo daily COVID-19 testing before he can return to the team.
Plesac (1-1, 3.29 ERA) pitched six scoreless innings in the Indians’ 7-1 win over the White Sox on Saturday.
Chris Antonetti, president of baseball operations, said the Indians organization was disappointed by Plesac’s action.
“I’ll keep the details of our conversation private,” he told reporters Sunday. “But I had multiple conversations with Zach today and we talked through what happened. Obviously reinforced the importance for everybody that we all take the protocols seriously and adhere to them because our decisions and our behaviors not only affect ourselves, but all of our teammates, and I think Zach understands that.
“We take the protocols very seriously,” Antonetti continued. “We’ve all banded together and talked about the importance of watching out for one another and making sure that we did our best to minimize risk. And Zach’s behavior, unfortunately, wasn’t consistent with that. So our players spent some time talking through their thoughts and feelings, and that’s feedback we’ll get here over the next day or two and factor that into what our next steps might be.”
–Field Level Media