A day after the Phillies game against the Yankees was cancelled due to an outbreak of COVID-19 on the Marlins roster, Major League Baseball has postponed Phillies game until at least Friday against the Blue Jays (Spencer Howard debut anyone?).
It was reported earlier today that four more Marlins players, including SS Miguel Rojas, who is said to have made the final decision to play on Sunday, tested positive for the virus. Including today’s results, the Marlins have had 15 players on their active roster test positive for the virus. That is half of their active roster, so they will not be playing until next Monday at the earliest.
The Phillies were supposed to be taking on the Yankees in a home and home series, with the first two games taking place in Philly before heading up to the Bronx for the last two. In missing the series, the Phillies dodged what could have been an early season make or break series for them. While the NL East foes will be shut down for the time being, the Yankees and the Orioles, who the Marlins were supposed to play, will be playing a quick two game series starting Wednesday.
Major League Baseball is still discussing how both teams will make up the games missed, but the prevailing thought is the teams will make use of the off days and doubleheaders to play as many games as they can.
If the reports that the Marlins were not following MLB mandated protocols, like wearing masks when not on the field and not alternating workout times are true, then they shouldn’t have the right to continue their season at all. The stupidity of 30 adult males and their coaches nearly ended the baseball season before it even got off the ground. I could write an entire article based on how asinine of an idea it is to have a players group chat decide whether or not they were going to play is, but, to me, that’s just common sense.
The Phillies didn’t have any players test positive from the tests administered yesterday, although a visitor’s clubhouse attendant did test positive. While this is a very good and hopeful results, they are not out of the woods just yet. The virus has an incubating time between 2-14 days, so the next couple days are even more important. While encouraging for the Phillies, my concerns lie with the daily tests they will receive the rest of the week.
Because I am eternally optimistic, I have to look a the positives. Skipping Zach Eflin and Jake Arrieta starts against a formidable opponent like the Yankees could be a blessing in disguise, though nothing about this situation is good. Potentially starting 1-4, though, could spell doom for a team in a shortened season.
This was more than a wake up call for the league, it was a warning. Players need to take a more proactive approach to their safety and the safety of the people around them.
Fingers crossed that we can keep these positive tests coming for the rest of the week because the Phillies can’t afford to lose any players for an extended period of time if they are serious about making a run.