Another Marlins player tests positive for COVID-19

Tanya Simon
July 30, 2020

"The health and safety protocols were designed with a challenging circumstance like the one facing the Marlins in mind".

It took five days for that illusion to be shattered.

The Marlins' season was put on hold Tuesday after several players and staff members contracted the coronavirus.

Also of note is that the Phillies haven't played a single one of their 10 scheduled games in Florida yet. The Marlins proceeded to play anyway. Seven more positive tests were reported Monday following the game. The Athletic was first to report this latest positive test.

The other issue here is that it's hard to know if the Marlins will be good to go next Monday.

The Marlins are now scheduled to play again next Tuesday in Miami against the Phillies, while Philadelphia is hosting the Toronto Blue Jays for a three-game weekend series reportedly starting on Saturday with a double-header. Major League Baseball has postponed several games, including Tuesday night's Yankees and Phillies games. Sixteen players and two staffers have now tested positive. Ureña is their most experienced starting pitcher. The Phillies also were scheduled to play games Wednesday and Thursday in NY against the Yankees, who now will be traveling to Baltimore instead. The only standard for a team or league-wide shutdown, Manfred said during a radio interview on the Dan Patrick Show on July 1, is "if we have a team or two that's really decimated with the number of people who had the virus or can't play for any significant period of time". Now, the Phillies season has been forced to take a temporary pause because of a Coronavirus outbreak that has ravished the Marlins, who spent the past weekend in Citizens Bank Park.

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The four additional players testing positive Tuesday brings the Marlins' total of positive coronavirus tests up to 17 - 15 players, and two coaches.

The Marlins were going to play the Washington Nationals this weekend in Miami, and that series has been scrubbed. "Sixto Sanchez, Jesus Sanchez, Edward Cabrera and Jazz Chisholm, that top group wouldn't be completely lost because they've had enough experience at Double-A at least, but all four of those guys have their warts too where they could fall flat on their face. Well, that's great for Rhys, but if the person who has it is not wearing a mask, Rhys' likelihood of getting it is still higher than if they both had masks".

The Marlins have few veterans at their alternate training site they can call upon in their stead. The 2020 season was already unusual in the extreme, and it's going to get even more absurd if it can get to a completion.

In a statement, Major League Baseball said it wanted to allow the Marlins time to focus on providing care for their players and plan for a resumption of play early next week. Outfielder Lewis Brinson is expected to be activated from the injured list prior to Miami's next game. Or should the healthy Marlins just stay in Philly and play there? "Our first concern is the health of the players and their families".

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, Marlins owner Derek Jeter said the team is moving to a daily testing schedule and hopes to make "informed decisions and prepare for our return to action next week". "When I look at 60-man rosters, they're kind of thin".

If they're not, and the Marlins have to dig deep into their player pool, the overwhelming opinion is Manfred's words about maintaining competitive integrity will ring hollow. It would be another if they miss a week's worth of games.

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