MIAMI (NewsNation) — Major League Baseball has postponed a second scheduled game between Miami and Baltimore after more than a dozen Marlins players and staff tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting the club to lock down in Philadelphia. Commissioner Rob Manfred said the soonest the Marlins could resume their schedule is Wednesday, when they are set to play in Baltimore.
“Obviously, we don’t want any player to get exposed. It’s not a positive thing,” baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said on the MLB Network. “But I don’t see it as a nightmare. We built the protocols to allow us to continue to play. That’s why we have the expanded rosters, that’s why we have the pool of additional players. And we think we can keep people safe and continue to play.”
The Yankees and Phillies also postponed their game Monday after the Marlins played in Philadelphia over the weekend. As of Monday night, the teams planned to begin their series Tuesday instead.
“The health of our players and staff has been and will continue to be our primary focus as we navigate through these unchartered waters,” said Marlins CEO Derek Jeter in a statement about the postponement.
Word of multiple positive tests among players on the Marlins and Reds rosters caused concern around the league.
“I’m going to be honest with you: I’m scared,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said.
Experts are also concerned.
“Baseball is in huge trouble,” said Dr. Andrew Morris, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Toronto. “It makes me wonder if they are listening to the advice of experts or whether their experts are giving them good advice. This was not a plan anyone who knows what they are talking about would have conceived. It’s playing out like it was supposed to play out.”
Manfred said test results should be available late Monday and there likely will be a public update Tuesday. He said there are factors that would force MLB to alter plans.
“A team losing a number of players that rendered it completely non-competitive would be an issue that we would have to address and have to think about making a change,” he said. “Whether that was shutting down a part of the season, the whole season, that depends on the circumstances. Same thing with respect to league-wide. You get to a certain point league wide where it does become a health threat, and we certainly would shut down at that point.”
The Chicago White Sox could be without manager Rick Renteria for a doubleheader in Cleveland.
The 58-year-old Renteria woke up Monday with “a slight cough and nasal congestion” and will be kept away from the team pending the results of medical tests.
The club did not say if he was being tested for the coronavirus.
“He feels great, feels fine. Just being very cautious,” bench coach Joe McEwing said.
McEwing will manage the White Sox until the team learns more about Renteria’s condition.
Monday’s scheduled opener of a three-game series against the Indians was postponed by rain and will be made up Tuesday as part of a traditional doubleheader.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.