Major League Baseball has postponed Monday's scheduled game between the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees over concerns of a COVID-19 outbreak.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic provided the statement from MLB confirming reports of the game's postponement along with the Miami Marlins' scheduled home opener against the Baltimore Orioles. The Marlins, who visited Philadelphia over the weekend, have had 14 players and coaches test positive for COVID-19 since the season began.
According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, there has been no serious discussion of suspending or canceling the 2020 MLB season because of the outbreak since it is currently confined to the Marlins. It is unclear when the Marlins will be allowed to return to play. Commissioner Rob Manfred has full discretion on the postponement or cancellation of games because of COVID-19.
The Marlins remain in Philadelphia, where they are undergoing further testing. Players and coaches who tested positive will have to quarantine in Philadelphia and have two negative tests at least 24 hours apart before returning to the team.
Should MLB allow the Marlins to continue playing, they'll likely be without about 40 percent of their roster for the foreseeable future. In the 60-game season, teams are going to be playing about a sixth of the campaign over a two-week span, a typical period of isolation needed for the virus to run its course. While that varies based on the individual, the Marlins would be at a competitive disadvantage for some time.
Given their close proximity to Marlins players over the weekend, it's possible some Phillies players have contracted the virus. One of the major concerns with a non-bubbled return to sports in the United States is the domino effect the disease can create.
By contrast, the NBA had no positives in its latest round of testing after putting together a meticulously planned "bubble" in Orlando, Florida. The NHL is attempting a similar bubble with two hub cities in Edmonton and Toronto, and commissioner Gary Bettman noted the league chose those locations "because of our focus on health and safety, and where COVID-19 is and isn't."