Marlins Outbreak COVID-19: Four additional players test positive; 17 total cases reported among the team

The 2020 season of Major League Baseball is not even a week old and a team has already experienced a coronavirus outbreak that will put them off their roster and caused several games to be postponed. The Miami Marlins now have at least 17 reported positive cases of COVID-19 among traveling team players and coaches since opening day, including four more players who tested positive Tuesday, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

The Miami group of travelers remains in quarantine in Philadelphia, but new positive evidence suggests that their series later this week in Baltimore could also be in danger of not being played on schedule. (Commissioner Rob Manfred suggested that the two teams could resume play. as early as Wednesday, provided there are “acceptable” test results.

The Marlins have not been the only team affected by the outbreak. The Orioles returned to Baltimore on Monday night, and the Philadelphia Phillies, who hosted the Marlins over the weekend at Citizens Bank Park, also had their Monday and Tuesday night games against the Yankees. postponed.

The “vast majority” of Nationals players have voted against traveling to Miami for the three-game series this weekend, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Ultimately, the final decision rests with MLB. The Nationals are currently without superstar outfielder Juan Soto, who tested positive on opening day and is still going through protocol. Manager Dave Martinez, who has a heart condition, told reporters on Monday: “I am scared. i really am

MLB released the following statement on Monday:

Games scheduled for tonight 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 tests. Members of the Marlins’ tour group self-quarantine while awaiting the results 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 the Club’s medical staff, and will continue to provide updates as appropriate.

Marlins CEO Derek Jeter released a statement saying postponing Monday night’s game was “the right decision.”

“The health of our players and staff has been and will remain our primary focus as we navigate these unknown waters. After a successful Spring 2.0, we have now experienced challenges once we hit the road and left Miami. Postponing the tonight’s home Game One was the right decision to make sure we took a collective hiatus and tried to properly understand the entirety of this situation. We have conducted another round of testing for our players and staff, and our team will remain in Philadelphia pending the results of those tests, which we expect later today. We will provide additional information as soon as it becomes available. ”

Here are four additional things you should know about this story.

Who has been affected?

Four people agreed to allow the Marlins to reveal their positive test before the news on Monday and Tuesday: catcher Jorge Alfaro, outfielders Garrett Cooper and Harold Ramírez, and pitcher José Urena, who was scratched before his start on Sunday. . None of the others has revealed their identity. Remember, they have to give the Marlins permission.

Where are the Marlins, Orioles?

The Marlins have not left Philadelphia. They had planned to leave on Sunday night after the game, but changed their plans to leave on Monday. However, that flight did not take off.

The Orioles, meanwhile, are back in Baltimore. Outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. tweeted that the plane was leaving for Miami on Sunday night. That follows normal operating procedures that see teams arriving the night before rather than the morning of games. They then returned home on Monday night.

Are the Phillies at risk of a similar outbreak?

Because the Marlins almost certainly had guys testing positive over the weekend, it’s fair to wonder if the Phillies might be at risk for a similar outbreak.

According to what is known about COVID-19, the greatest risk of infection is spending a long time in closed or poorly ventilated areas with large crowds and in an intimate way. In other words, playing a (mostly) fleeting outdoor baseball game doesn’t seem like a situation that should trigger transmission from one individual to another, at least not on another team.

Athletic spoke to a couple of infectious disease experts who agreed that the probability of transmission from the Marlins to the Phillies was “low.” Of course, “low” doesn’t mean zero, and Phillies players (and Yankees players, if asked to dress in the same club as the Marlins) are right to be nervous about the situation at hand.

So far, there has been no indication that any Phillies player has contracted COVID-19 from the Marlins series.

Will the season be canceled?

At the moment, no. Owners and Commissioner Rob Manfred held a conference call on Monday afternoon and reportedly decided not to pause or cancel the 2020 season at this time. Still, there is a lot of uncertainty in the future. Apparently, if the season remains in place, then more players may choose not to participate rather than expose themselves and their loved ones to the possibility of a similar outbreak at their clubhouse.