As COVID-19 continues to loom over the 2020 MLB season, the Phillies are set to return to action on Monday against Gerrit Cole and the Yankees.
The Philadelphia Phillies got off to a pretty rough start, to say the least. After the Marlins gave them problems in 2019, Aaron Nola gave up 4 runs in an Opening Day loss. All the while Vince Velasquez and the bullpen faltered after a 4-0 lead in Game 3 of the series. Aside from Zack Wheeler and Didi Gregorius, both new additions, and strong games from Phil Gosselin and Adam Haseley, no one looked better than average over the initial weekend.
However, following the third game of the season, reports disclosed a COVID-19 outbreak among the Miami Marlins tallying several positive tests. Of course, this affected the Phillies, causing both teams to suspend play and operations for the foreseeable future. It didn’t stop there though, with the Washington Nationals and New York Yankees, both teams’ respective next opponents, changing their schedules. It seemed like the Phillies would play this weekend against Toronto, but that was postponed as well.
The Phillies have returned in the past few days and have begun staggered workouts at Citizens Bank Park; it is believed there only two COVID-positive tests of staff members following the Marlins outbreak were false positives, which is significant news in the return to play.
It almost goes without saying: everyone knew some type of COVID-19 outbreak would happen or that players would test positive. What’s shocking is Commissioner Rob Manfred‘s lack of a plan and urgency.
Not to mention, the St. Louis Cardinals also had an outbreak of their own, involving both players and coaches. Per Ken Rosenthal, six teams are now waiting to continue their season: Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals, Miami Marlins, and Toronto Blue Jays. Let’s not forget some scheduling adjustments the New York Yankees have faced because of this, and other teams that will follow.