ST. LOUIS —
At least 14 players and coaches in the Miami Marlins organization tested positive for COVID-19 over the past several days after many of those players took the field this weekend for a three-game series in Philadelphia.
“They had one player test positive the other day,” USA Today MLB writer Bob Nightengale said. “Three more on Sunday. And then eight more, or seven more, I should say on Monday. So, now you’re talking about kind of wiping out the team.”
In response to the Marlins COVID-19 outbreak, the MLB postponed Miami’s home opener against the Baltimore Orioles scheduled for Monday night.
The Phillies, who hosted the Marlins over the weekend, also had their Monday night game against the New York Yankees postponed, as the team awaits COVID-19 test results.
Nightengale said MLB decisions are currently being made on a day-to-day basis.
“Right now, Major League Baseball said they’re bracing themselves for something like this,” Nightengale said. “So far, they’ll just ride this out. Now, if it hits multiple teams, it’s a different story.”
The Marlins’ team charter was scheduled to return to Miami on Monday morning, but that plan shifted due to MLB and team safety protocol.
“Some of those guys are gonna have to self-quarantine there for perhaps 10 days or 14 days in hotel rooms,” Nightengale said. “They don’t want the outbreak to get worse.”
With at least 11 Marlins players now quarantined, the team will turn to its minor league taxi squad that’s been playing at an alternative site, created for this very situation.
“You have 30 guys, minor leaguers, that are playing and working out each day,” Nightengale said. “And so, if guys get sick, they’ll be bringing in new people. Obviously, it won’t be the same major league quality, but at least they’re players.”
The MLB built six off days into each team’s 2020 schedule, which teams can utilize for postponed games if needed.
Based on MLB protocol, all players who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to test negative twice afterward before being allowed to return to the field.