The COVID-19 pandemic is going to present problems for MLB teams throughout the 2020 season (as long as it keeps going, at least), and it appears to be rearing its ugly head on the Marlins right now. According to reports from MLB Network’s Jon Heyman and The Score’s Robert Murray, outfielder Harold Ramirez, first baseman/outfielder Garrett Cooper, and pitcher José Ureña have tested positive for the coronavirus, joining catcher Jorge Alfaro, who had already tested positive in recent days. This seems to be the beginning of a potentially significant outbreak among Marlins players. They played their first series of the season in Philadelphia, but this development isn't necessarily the biggest surprise since they’re based in Miami, a city considered to be an epicenter of the virus.
Sources: Marlins new positives include Cooper and Ramirez in addition to Urena, plus Alfaro had been positive. So they’ve now lost their starting RF, DH/1B and C in addition to one of their better pitchers. @ByRobertMurray 1st on some names— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 26, 2020
Despite the fact that this looks like the begining of a potentially disastrous situation, manager Don Mattingly and shortstop Miguel Rojas expressed a commitment (arguably a problematic one) to staying the course and playing Sunday’s game, even as they were waiting for test results to make sure no other players were infected after being exposed to the COVID-positive individuals.
Don Mattingly said the #Marlins never considered not playing.— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 26, 2020
"We're taking risks every day."
#Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas said all 30 players "got together as a team" this morning after learning multiple players would be out.— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 26, 2020
He said their feeling as a group was: "We made the decision that we want to continue to do this and continue to be responsible."
While nothing can undo the damage they may have caused by playing Sunday and potentially exposing more Marlins as well as Phillies players to the virus, the team did take one rather significant precaution in order to try to avoid a potential superspreader event. Though they were scheduled to depart Philadelphia following Sunday’s game, the Marlins instead decided to stay overnight and fly to Miami on Monday afternoon, giving them more time to obtain Sunday’s test results.
If the Marlins tested everyone today, (pretty sure they did) and these tests take 12-24 hours to get the result, this makes sense to hold off getting on a plane again with players who are asympomatic and unknowingly positive. https://t.co/tjv3jEZXkr— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) July 26, 2020
This certainly isn’t an ideal development as MLB attempts to stage a successful 2020 season, and the league will need to make sure these situations don’t become common if it doesn’t want to have to shut things down again.