Welp, it’s here. It may come as a surprise or it may not, but MLB officially has been hit by its first corona virus outbreak, infecting 17 of the Miami Marlins. As a result, the Marlins cancelled their first home series and the New York Yankees and Phillies cancelled their series in Philadelphia.
So what does this mean for MLB? ESPN answered all the burning questions. Here’s a few:
What does the Marlins’ outbreak mean for the state of the MLB season as a whole?
MLB writer and analyst for ESPN, Bradford Doolittle basically says we’ll see if the Marlins are able to keep playing, which will tell how things will go for other teams and/or the season if another team has a similar outbreak. The system of protocols MLB has put into place was meant to prevent this type of outbreak, but is COVID-19 really preventable?
With the tight schedule to get games in, is there room to make up games canceled due to positive tests or other unique circumstances?
To sum up Doolittle’s answer, basically it’s going to be difficult to reschedule games over the course of a six week season. Doubleheaders could be scheduled, but the main focus right now is to see if other outbreaks happen with other teams. Adding additional travel to the season to make up games could potentially backfire.
Could this lead to more players opting out of the season?
I’ll quote Doolittle directly on this one: “A team wide outbreak four days into the season could convince a few people that the risk is just too great.”
In response to the Marlins outbreak, David Price tweeted to the reason he decided to opt out of the season, and how MLB needs to start putting players health first, like they promised:
Now we REALLY get to see if MLB is going to put players health first. Remember when Manfred said players health was PARAMOUNT?! Part of the reason I’m at home right now is because players health wasn’t being put first. I can see that hasn’t changed.— David Price (@DAVIDprice24) July 27, 2020
After two seasons with the Rockies, Bryan Shaw was released July 15 ending his stint in Colorado with a 5.61 ERA. Patrick Saunders tells us how Shaw, who is now pitching for the Seattle Mariners, blames the mile-high altitude for his pitching performance.
“I got there and the sliders didn’t work,” Shaw said. “It didn’t matter what we did. We tried to tinker with it. We tried to change it. We tried to do different stuff and it just basically fell by the wayside.”
Prior to coming to Colorado, Shaw finished five seasons with the Cleveland Indians with a 3.11 ERA with 8.4 strikeouts per nine innings in 387 appearances.
Rockies left-handed reliever Tim Collins has opted out of the 2020 season according to The Associated Press and the Rockies Club Information Twitter account (see tweet below).
Collins joins Ian Desmond as the second Rockie to opt out of this season, and the first player to choose to opt out after the Marlins COVID-19 outbreak.
The Rockies announced today that left-handed pitcher Tim Collins has opted out of the 2020 season.— Rockies Club Information (@RockiesClubInfo) July 27, 2020
With Collins being the first to opt out with the Miami Marlins outbreak making corona a very real risk in the MLB, it will be interested what/if any players follow suit.
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