Miami Marlins' Home Opener Against Baltimore Orioles Canceled Due to Coronavirus Outbreak

The Miami Marlins are dealing with a large number of coronavirus cases, which has led to them canceling their season opener against the Baltimore Orioles. According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, the Marlins have called off the season opener due to a total of 14 players and coaches testing positive of COVID-19. The Marlins had four players test positive in their opening series against the Philadelphia Phillies, and an additional eight players and two coaches tested positive on Monday, less than 12 hours before the team was supposed to play against the Orioles.

The four Marlins players who tested positive during the Phillies series were catcher Jorge Alfaro, outfielders Garrett Cooper and Harold Ramiez, and pitcher Jose Urena. Players who test positive must test negative two times at least 24 hours apart, or a panel of experts clear them to play. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic said along with the tests," the committee also considers the time elapsed since the initial positive result; a lack of, or recovery from, symptoms; the results of an antibody test; clearance by a team physician, which might include a cardiac exam; and the "cycle threshold" of a PRC test, which indicates how contagious a player might be."

The Marlins were scheduled to travel back to Miami on Monday morning, but they stayed in Philadelphia to undergo more testing. When the first four players tested positive, manager Don Mattingly said the team was looking to be more careful. "You go on the road, it's not the same," Mattingly stated on Sunday via MLB.com. "I think you've got to be careful on the road, as far as all the protocols. It's what the world is going through in different cities. Put the mask on. Wash your hands. Don't touch a bunch of stuff."

Mattingly also talked about players being comfortable about playing during the pandemic. "They want their feelings as part of situations to be heard, Mattingly added. "I think it's fair. We're talking about health. We're talking about these guys traveling back to their homes. To their families, to their kids. It's the reason we want to be safe. They've got a voice, and they get a voice." The Marlins were able to win two of the three games against the Phillies. As of Monday morning, the team is tied with the Atlanta Braves for first place in the NL East.