2 games postponed Monday over reported Marlins outbreak

The Monday night game between the Miami Marlins and Baltimore Orioles has been postponed due to a possible COVID-19 outbreak on the Marlins. According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, at least seven players and two coaches have tested positive in addition to the four positives that were reported on Sunday.

Following that news, the game between the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees was also postponed. That game was to take place at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, where the Marlins played all weekend. MLB issued a statement on both postponements.

Tonight’s scheduled games between the Miami Marlins and the Baltimore Orioles at Marlins Park and the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees at Citizens Bank Park have been postponed while Major League Baseball conducts additional COVID-19 testing.  The members of the Marlins’ traveling party are self-quarantining in place while awaiting the outcome of those results.  Major League Baseball has been coordinating with the Major League Baseball Players Association; the Marlins; the Orioles; the Marlins’ weekend opponent, the Phillies; and Club medical staffs, and will continue to provide updates as appropriate. 

Marlins departure previously delayed

The Marlins finished a three-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday afternoon, but there were signs of trouble before the game even began. Sunday’s starter José Ureña was scratched at the last minute, and there were reports that three players had tested positive for COVID-19 in addition to one previously reported positive.

The game finished before 5 p.m., leaving the Marlins plenty of time to fly back to Miami for their home opener, but the team decided to postpone their departure until Monday morning and stay the night in Philadelphia due to concerns about a possible outbreak on the team. They would have arrived a few hours before their scheduled 7:10 start against the Orioles.

The Marlins are self-quarantining following a reported outbreak on their team, leading to the postponement of two related games. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Fast forward to Monday morning when the number of positives reportedly jumped from four to 13 or 14. That’s a full-fledged outbreak, and team will stay in Philadelphia to self quarantine and undergo more testing while their contest against the Orioles is canceled.

Phillies-Yankees postponed over outbreak concerns

The Phillies’ ballpark, Citizen Bank Park, is one of the last places the entire Marlins team was together prior to the reported COVID-19 outbreak. John Clark of NBC Sports Philly reported that the visiting clubhouse is being disinfected and the Yankees will be bringing their own clubhouse staff to the park (instead of using the Phillies’ clubhouse staff, who are reportedly being quarantined).

Despite those measures, playing on Monday night would involve substantial risk for all players, especially the Yankees. They would be using the visiting clubhouse and playing with Phillies players who were likely exposed to COVID-19 through the Marlins.

However, outbreak concerns have wisely won out over the business-as-usual approach, and the game has been postponed. No date has been set for the rescheduled game.

Tuesday’s Yankees-Phillies game up in the air

While Monday’s game is postponed, the status of Tuesday’s game is undecided. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Phillies players are getting tested at Citizens Bank Park on Monday. The results of those tests, which should be back Tuesday, could be used to decide whether that night’s game should be postponed.

MLB team owners are also reportedly having a conference call on Monday afternoon, which could affect that decision.

It’s unknown if MLB is taking into account that positive tests can take days to appear following exposure, during which time the players could be incubating and spreading the disease without knowing it.

As for the Marlins and Orioles, things continue to be complicated. According to Passan, Tuesday’s game at Marlins Park has been effectively postponed since the Orioles are flying back to Baltimore on Monday. The Marlins are scheduled to play the Orioles in Baltimore later in the week, but it’s anyone’s guess if that will take place.

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