By The Associated Press
MIAMI, Fla. — About 72 hours into its season, Major League Baseball has postponed two games scheduled for Monday, July 27. The league has announced the Marlins’ home game against the Orioles and the Yankees’ game in Philadelphia against the Phillies have been postponed until further notice.
The Marlins postponed their flight home Sunday night after their series finale against the Phillies, when at least 14 players tested positive for coronavirus.
A person familiar with the decision to postpone Monday’s game told The Associated Press that the move was made due to health precautions. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the postponement hadn’t been announced.
Marlins pitcher Jose Urena was scratched from his scheduled start in Sunday’s game, and catcher Jorge Alfaro went on the injured list Friday. No reasons were given for the moves, but manager Don Mattingly said those who tested positive would be quarantined in Philadelphia.
The Marlins’ precarious health raised anew doubts about MLB’s ability to finish the season during a pandemic. In Cincinnati, Reds second baseman Mike Moustakas and center fielder Nick Senzel felt sick Sunday, a day after a teammate went on the injured list because he tested positive for COVID-19.
Some Marlins players texted each other about the team’s health issues before Sunday’s game, but there was no talk of declining to play, shortstop Miguel Rojas said.
“That was never our mentality,” Rojas said. “We knew this could happen at some point. We came to the ballpark ready to play.”
Said Mattingly: “It’s fair to say guys are concerned about things. They want how they’re feeling about the situation to be heard. I think it’s fair. We’re talking about health.”
The Marlins played exhibition games at Atlanta on Tuesday and Wednesday against the Braves, who have since been without their top two catchers, Tyler Flowers and Travis d’Arnaud, after both players showed symptoms of COVID-19. Mattingly declined to say whether he thought the Marlins’ health issues were related to the Atlanta stop.
Miami is a hot spot for the pandemic, but on Sunday, Mattingly said he feels safer there.
“You feel safe at the ballpark; I feel safe with my surroundings going home,” he said. “It’s a lot scarier on the road.”