10:30am: Passan tweets that the updated tally is 11 of 33 players who’ve been traveling with the club (i.e. the 30-man roster and three-man taxi squad) and a pair of coaches have tested positive. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald and Sherman hear the same (Twitter links). Mish adds that some of the team’s more notable players are among the positive group.
Major League Baseball has issued the following statement:
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.
8:12am: The Marlins had four players test positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, and ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports this morning that an additional eight players and two coaches have since tested positive (Twitter link). Tonight’s scheduled home opener against the Orioles has been canceled, tweets Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. ESPN’s Jesse Rogers tweets that not all of the new cases are asymptomatic.
The Marlins remain in Philadelphia and won’t be traveling back to Miami as had been previously scheduled, per Sportsgrid’s Craig Mish (Twitter links). In the span of one weekend, the Marlins have now seen a dozen players and two coaches test positive. More troubling, perhaps, is that Mish emphasizes that Marlins players and coaching staff have been adhering to the league’s health and safety protocols.
It’s alarming, too, that Rosenthal and colleague Jayson Stark report (subscription link) that yesterday’s Marlins/Phillies game was played after three players tested positive. That brought the Marlins’ total known positive tests to seven, and a day later it appears that figure has doubled. Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas and manager Don Mattingly said that the team was unified in its decision to play. Rosenthal and Stark add that the league conducted contact tracing and tested the remainder of the roster and staff, with all beyond the initial seven coming back negative.
The implications here, of course, are broad-reaching. The Phillies just shared the field with the Marlins for their opening three-game series, which will undoubtedly prompt concerns among Phillies players and staff. The Yankees, meanwhile, had been scheduled to travel to Philadelphia to set up shop in the same visiting clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park that was just home to 14 positive cases. Ramifications beyond the immediate circle of baseball employees exist as well, of course. The Marlins have been staying at a hotel in Philadelphia over the weekend, which means staff on hand there has likely been exposed as well.
The Yankees, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter links), aren’t staying at the same hotel the Marlins used. They’ve also brought in their own clubhouse staff rather than work with the Phillies’ visiting clubhouse staff. They might’ve chosen to do so anyway, but The Athletic’s Matt Gelb tweets that the Phillies have quarantined their entire visiting clubhouse staff while awaiting test results. There’s been no definitive word on whether tonight’s game between the Yankees and Phillies will even take place, but it’s certainly possible it’ll be postponed or canceled as well.