Indians send Zach Plesac home after pitcher has dinner in Chicago, violating MLB protocols

The right-handed pitcher apologized in a statement

The Cleveland Indians on Sunday sent pitcher Zach Plesac home after he violated team rules and Major League Baseball’s coronavirus health protocols.

Plesac, 25, was out with friends in Chicago on Saturday night following a win against the White Sox. The team sent him home in a car service so he wouldn’t be on a plane with teammates and staff in the event he contracted the coronavirus.

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Plesac apologized to his teammates in a statement. It’s unclear whether he has been tested for the virus since breaking the team’s code of conduct.

“I realize I made a poor choice to leave the hotel, which broke protocols and could have endangered other people,” Plesac said. “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 Athletic first reported the news of Plesac’s misstep.

He will not be able to participate in team activities until he tests negative for the coronavirus twice.

“At this point, we'll figure out what the appropriate next steps will be,” Indians team president Chris Antonetti said.

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MLB is beginning to crack down on players flouting its health and safety guidelines. The Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals had several games postponed because of an outbreak in their clubhouses.

Plesac had previously spoken about the league’s code of conduct in regards to the coronavirus on July 3.

“Definitely any time you can maintain social distancing is going to be what we have to focus on,” he said at the time. “There are common-sense situations, where you see things are packed, or going out to the bars and drinking — doing stuff like that isn’t stuff that’s really important to us right now and shouldn’t be important to us right now.

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“We’re given this privilege to be able to come back and play and given this short window to even play. It’s a good time now just to really buckle down and focus on what’s important and work toward something greater at the end of the season and for these couple months, lock in and focus on what we have set for us at the end of the year.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.