Kiner-Falefa alluded to the outbreaks on the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals, as well as Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac breaking safety protocols, as reasons for Major League Baseball enhancing security measures during road trips.
"MLB actually has someone just walking around the hotel to make sure we don't do anything. Just based off previous teams and what they've done and how it affected the season," Kiner-Falefa said, according to 105.3 The Fan's Josh Clark.
"So MLB has been very strict. It's almost cooler to be at home because you can at least do a little more and have some people around. But when you're on the road it's almost like prison. You can't leave your room. Even if you go down to the lobby (you'll get in trouble). I think for us this year, the physical part's been OK, but mentally, it's starting to wear on a lot of people. (I'm) just curious how far this can go on."
After a COVID outbreak affected 20 members of the Marlins' traveling party in late July and postponed a week's worth of games, MLB tightened its health and safety directives for players and coaches. Around the same time the new directives arrived, the Cardinals missed more than two weeks of playing time due to an outbreak.
One of the changes involved teams traveling with a compliance officer, who Kiner-Falefa explained tracks players' every move without being seen.
"They do a good job of hiding," he said. "We don't know what exactly they do. I know there was a couple of our guys that just went down to the lobby, took their mask off for a quick second, went to their room, and got a text message saying they got caught."
MLB has postponed fewer games since adding compliance officers.
The New York Mets and Oakland Athletics recently had game dates moved after positive tests among their traveling parties, but neither of the team's infections reached outbreak status.
"It's kind of scary but at the same time it's good for us to make sure we don't pass the virus and we're staying safe," Kiner-Falefa said.