(Miami) Two Major Baseball games scheduled for Monday night have been postponed as the Miami Marlins grapple with an outbreak of COVID-19 that has them immobilized in Philadelphia.
The Marlins’s opener against the Baltimore Orioles has been postponed, as has the New York Yankees’s face-off against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
Receiver Jorge Alfaro (left) was placed on the injured list on Friday.
The Yankees reportedly used the same locker room the Marlins used this weekend. They reside in Philadelphia, where their own locker room staff are on site. The Marlins postponed their return flight Sunday night after the last game of their series against the Phillies.
Nine Marlins players and two others from their reserve lineup, as well as two staff members contracted the disease according to tests carried out on Friday told The Associated Press a person familiar with the matter on condition of anonymity, since the results were not made public.
The MLB announced the postponement of the two games approximately eight hours before the scheduled first pitch, but said more detection tests will be carried out, including with the Phillies players.
Marlins pitcher Jose Urena missed his scheduled start in Sunday's game.
"The Marlins have quarantined themselves pending the results of these tests," the MLB said in a statement.
With the 60-game season barely underway, the Marlins outbreak has once again raised questions about Commissioner Rob Manfred's plan in the midst of a pandemic.
“Now we're really going to see if MLB puts player health first,” Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher David Price, who overlooked the season, said on Twitter.
Do you remember when Manfred said that player health was paramount? ! One of the reasons I'm at home right now is that the health of the players was not a priority. I see it hasn't changed.
Dodgers pitcher David Price
A recovery plan full of problems
Dr. Andrew Morris, professor of infectious diseases at the University of Toronto, said the Marlins outbreak comes as no surprise, as Commissioner Manfred's plan is flawed.
Baseball has a huge problem, Morris said. I wonder if they listen to expert advice and their experts give them good advice. This plan is not one that anyone who knows what he is talking about would have devised. What is happening today had to happen.
Dr. Andrew Morris, Professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of Toronto
Marlins CEO Derek Jier issued a statement saying the safety of players and staff is the top priority for the organization.
“To postpone (Monday) night's game was the decision to make to make sure we took a break and understood the scale of the situation,” he wrote.
Marlins pitcher Jose Urena missed his scheduled start in Sunday's game, and receiver Jorge Alfaro's name was placed on the injury list on Friday. No reason was provided for these changes.
If the Marlins continue their season, they will need to bring in reinforcements from their training site in Jupiter, Fla. If they also postpone Tuesday's game against the Orioles, they could travel by bus to Baltimore for their games scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday.
It is not known exactly when the players received the results of the last round of testing, but some Marlins players texted each other about the state of health of some teammates ahead of Sunday's game. The possibility of not playing the game was not discussed, however, said shortstop Miguel Rojas.
Pandemic or not, some things haven't changed in baseball: Miguel Rojas was hit with a deep inside pitch during the 7th inning of Sunday's game between the Marlins and the Phillies.
“It was never our intention,” said Rojas. We knew this could happen at some point. We showed up at the stadium ready to play. "
The players are worried
“It's fair to say there are a few things that guys are worried about,” Mattingly added. They want their feelings about this situation to be shared. I believe this is reasonable. We are talking about health issues. "
The Marlins played preseason games in Atlanta on Tuesday