Phillies off until at least Friday amid COVID-19 scare

General view of the sunset over Citizens Bank Park during the fifth inning of a game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Miami Marlins.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

After their last two games against the New York Yankees at Citizens Bank Park were canceled, the Philadelphia Phillies will not play until Friday as a precaution after they were exposed to the Miami Marlins over the weekend.

The move, which was confirmed by the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner, stems from the Marlins’ coronavirus outbreak while they were in Philadelphia for their series-opening three-game series. Per previous reports, at least 14 team members tested positive for the virus — including three on Sunday, just hours before their series finale against the Phillies.

On Tuesday, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported that four more Marlins players tested positive for the virus, bringing their total estimated number up to 17.

The Marlins’ season has been paused until at least Monday.

Despite the positive tests, the Marlins opted to play, possibly exposing the Phillies to the virus. The Phillies were tested on Monday and results are pending, though MLB Network’s Joel Sherman reported Tuesday morning that no players “so far” have tested positive.

The potential spread to the Phillies is paramount to Major League Baseball’s chances of being able to get through the 2020 season. If protocols properly stymied the spread of the virus and contained it to just the Marlins’ clubhouse, optimism around the viability of the 60-game schedule improves.

If the Phillies — who had multiple COVID-19 cases during the summer — have players who test positive, MLB has a problem. Not to mention the stadium staff and operations members that come in contact with these teams, thus potentially bring the virus into their homes.

The Phillies and Marlins’ opponents scheduled for this week — the Yankees and Orioles — will play a two-game series in Baltimore.

The hope is that the Phillies will be able to make up the missed games of MLB’s 60-game schedule at some point later this season, but the league is also not “wedded” to that idea, per MLB Network’s Joel Sherman. Philadelphia could play between 55-58 games this season and their standing would be based on winning percentage.

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