Four more Miami Marlins players have tested positive for COVID-19, according to reports from national writers on Twitter, bringing the total number of Marlins players and staffers who have tested positive to 17.
The Philadelphia Phillies, meanwhile, had no positive tests from their latest round of testing. The Phillies game against the New York Yankees this evening has nevertheless been canceled, however, out of what is being described as “an abundance of caution.”
For the Phillies, that is good news, although there is a potential lag time between when someone is infected and when they will test positive. Nevertheless, there being no positive tests currently is a good sign, and as we have previously discussed, no Phillies players would seem to qualify as having been “exposed” to any Marlins player, given that the definition, per the CDC, is being within six feet of someone who has tested positive for a period of at least fifteen minutes.
I would guess that the Phillies will be tested again, and barring any positive tests, they will play the New York Yankees in New York on Wednesday for what is a two game series at Yankee Stadium.
The situation with the Marlins is more complicated. Though one of the players who previously tested positive has reportedly tested negative, no one can return to participating in team activities until they have two negative tests at least twenty four hours apart. With what sounds like are anywhere between 12 and 15 players currently ineligible, the Marlins would have to call up a bunch of players from their 60 man pool to fill out a roster to play right now. From a 40 man roster standpoint, players on the COVID list don’t count against the 40 man roster, and the rules regarding dropping players from the 40 man roster who were added during an outbreak are liberalized to allow players to be returned to the pool, so theoretically the Marlins could add enough taxi squad players to have a roster filled out.
However, given that all the players who are traveling with the team have been exposed, they all will need to quarantine for the foreseeable future, even if they test negative, and from an overall “integrity of the game” point of view, trying to play a game with 30 guys who didn’t make the active roster seems like something of a farce, before we even get into the overall health issues involved.
The Marlins are scheduled to play Baltimore on Wednesday and Thursday, and then the Nationals this weekend. The Baltimore series almost certainly will be cancelled, and it seems unlikely to me that the Nationals series will take place — and if it does take place, I imagine it may take place in Washington, rather than in Florida, where it is currently scheduled to occur.