MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Marlins are in the midst of dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak within the team as reports indicate that at least 15 players have tested positive over the course of the last three days. In response, Major League Baseball has said that it is postponing all Marlins games through Sunday.
In a statement, the league said that the games against the Orioles on Wednesday and Thursday and the home series against the Nationals Friday through Sunday are postponed until a later date as the team deals with the outbreak of cases.
“Given the current circumstances, MLB believes that it is most prudent to allow the Marlins time to focus on providing care for their players and planning their Baseball Operations for a resumption early next week.”
Marlins CEO Derek Jeter released a statement of his own Tuesday evening. It read, in part:
“We have moved to a daily testing schedule while we isolate and quarantine appropriately, along with enacting additional preventive procedures with our traveling party. We look forward to safely returning to Miami where we conducted a successful and healthy Spring 2.0 before departing on the road and experiencing challenges. For the time being, we will remain in Philadelphia and gather information in order to make informed decisions and prepare for our return to action next week.”
In addition to the Marlins games, the Philadelphia Phillies, whom the Marlins played this past weekend, have had their home and home series against the New York Yankees postponed. The Yankees will now head to Baltimore to play the Orioles on Wednesday and Thursday with more rescheduling set to be announced later this week.
The league said that its health and safety protocols were designed with a scenario like this in mind and that Marlins personnel that have tested positive are isolated and receiving care.
“The health and safety protocols were designed with a challenging circumstance like the one facing the Marlins in mind. The response outlined in the joint MLB-MLBPA Operations Manual was triggered immediately upon learning of the cluster of positive cases, including contact tracing and the quarantining and testing of all of the identified close contacts. The Marlins’ personnel who tested positive remain in isolation and are receiving care.”
Earlier in the day, it was reported that included among the positive tests was shortstop Miguel Rojas who has been the team’s best player so far this season.
Marlins star and leader Miguel Rojas has tested positive. He leads the NL with a .700 batting average, .750 OBP, 1.300 slugging percentage, 2.050 OPS and 476 OPS plus. Of course half the team is positive.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 28, 2020
The league also stressed in its release that no new positive test results have been received for any on-field personnel for any of the other 29 teams in any of the 6,400 tests done since Friday.
“The difficult circumstances of one Club reinforce the vital need to be diligent with the protocols in all ways, both on and off the field. We will continue to bolster our protocols and make any necessary adjustments. The realities of the virus still loom large, and we must operate with that in mind every day. We are confident that Clubs and players will act appropriately, for themselves and for others, and the data provides reason to believe that the protocols can work effectively.”
The news today out of the league comes less than 24 hours after commissioner Rob Manfred said he didn’t consider the outbreak to be a “nightmare” scenario for the league in an appearance on MLB Network.
“I don’t put this in the nightmare category,” Manfred said to MLB Network. “It’s not a positive thing, but I don’t see it as a nightmare. … That’s why we have the expanded rosters. That’s why we have the pool of additional players.”