A Coronavirus Outbreak On The Marlins Has Caused Two MLB Games To Be Postponed

The Major League Baseball season is just four days old, but it is now in serious danger of being put on hold.

The Miami Marlins had four players scratched due to positive COVID-19 tests from Sunday’s game against the Phillies, including their starting pitcher, and somehow still managed to pull out an 11-6 win on the road. However, the Marlins, concerned of an outbreak within the team, stayed in Philadelphia rather than traveling home on Sunday night ahead of their home opener against the Orioles to await the next round of testing results.

Unfortunately, the fears of an internal outbreak were warranted, as results indicated Monday that, in total, 11 players and two coaches tested positive — of the 33 players that traveled, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan. As a result, Miami’s game with Baltimore was postponed, as was the Phillies scheduled game with the Yankees.

As Karl Ravech notes, the MLB season likely hinges on whether the Phillies, who played the Marlins last night, have any positive test results. The issue is, as we have learned, it’s possible to test negative for a few days before eventually testing positive, so Philadelphia is likely days away from being fully in the clear, even if their next round of test results come back negative.

With baseball not in a bubble environment, there was always enhanced risk of an outbreak because of how slow testing can show a positive case. Juan Soto of the Nationals was the first player to test positive ahead of the Thursday opener against the Yankees — after having practiced with the team — as baseball hoped that would be an isolated incident. Unfortunately, the Marlins — who had been in Atlanta for scrimmages prior to heading to Philly — were not as lucky and when cases arrived in their locker room, the virus spread to a third of the team.

Baseball will apparently press on with the 26 other teams, but it sadly seems like the clock is ticking on the season. There will reportedly be a league-wide call among the owners on Monday afternoon to discuss the situation further, and determine how the league will proceed.

For now, we can simply hope the Marlins players who contracted the virus remain asymptomatic or only battle mild cases and the Phillies avoid an outbreak of their own, but baseball’s nightmare scenario for the opening weekend appears to have arrived.