Just three games into the condensed 60-game MLB season, the MLB has halted the Miami Marlins‘ 2020 campaign amid a COVID-19 outbreak in the club.
The Marlins have paused their season until Monday as 17 members of the club, including 15 players, have tested positive for coronavirus since the beginning of their season-opening series against the Philadelphia Phillies five days ago, the league said in a statement.
This means the Marlins’ four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles has been postponed, as well as their two-game home series against the Washington Nationals.
The schedule implies that the Marlins’ next scheduled series would be against the Phillies from August 4-6 at Marlins Park. However, that may not be possible.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said the Marlins should follow the 14-day quarantine protocol when returning to South Florida.
The Marlins are currently quarantined and in isolation in Philadelphia, as the club awaits test results and continues to monitor the health and safety of its members.
Meanwhile, no Phillies players have tested positive, per ESPN.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said Monday that the soonest the Marlins could resume their schedule is on Wednesday in Baltimore, “if the testing results are acceptable.”
However, Miami had four more members test positive on Tuesday.
”I don’t see it as a nightmare,” Manfred told MLB Network on Monday night. ”We built the protocols to allow us to continue to play. That’s why we have the expanded rosters, that’s why we have the pool of additional players. And we think we can keep people safe and continue to play.”
The Marlins will have to call up players from the taxi squad from their secondary site in Jupiter, FL, to the team’s 30-man roster. And according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, the Marlins are looking for “extra MLB quality players.”
Miami made a couple of additions to supplement their roster, scooping up right-handed reliever Justin Shafer and left-handed pitcher Josh D. Smith from the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday. They also placed infielder Garrett Cooper, outfielder Harold Ramirez and right-hander José Ureña on the Injured List.
While an outbreak this early seems to jeopardize the new 60-game season, Commissioner Manfred believes the league is handling the pandemic well.
“I don’t put this in the ‘nightmare’ category … We built the protocols to allow us to continue to play.”