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There’s a COVID-19 outbreak on the Miami Marlins

SB Nation logo SB Nation 7/26/2020 Ely Sussman
a baseball player throwing a ball: RHP José Ureña is the first Marlins player in 2020 who’s been fully confirmed as COVID-19 positive. © Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images RHP José Ureña is the first Marlins player in 2020 who’s been fully confirmed as COVID-19 positive.

The opening series of the 2020 MLB regular season between the Marlins and Phillies has made it abundantly clear that this year is unlike any other. Prior to Friday’s Opening Day, primary catcher Jorge Alfaro was abruptly placed on the injured list. Then again on Sunday, the game’s probable starting pitcher, José Ureña, was scratched. Insider Jon Heyman was quick to confirm that Ureña’s absence was the result of a positive COVID-19 test.

Unfortunately, that isn’t the end of the story, as Heyman and Craig Mish continued to report on Twitter:

This is a full-fledged outbreak as defined by the MLB Operations Manual. After several weeks without any new positive player tests, there has been a breach in the Marlins’ bubble. And that’s without even knowing how many non-player members of the traveling party have the virus.

All of Sunday’s starters are presumably COVID-19-free, but reporting from Heyman and Mish indicate that Ureña and Alfaro are affected. Ureña is currently asymptomatic, Heyman adds. Garrett Cooper also tested positive, according to Robert Murray.

For this to happen while on the road in Philadelphia is an extreme inconvenience. The players who have just learned of their positive tests will not be able to fly home with the rest of the team. They must test negative two consecutive times and demonstrate that they aren’t exhibiting common symptoms. Molly Knight of The Athletic has more on this bizarre situation.

During summer camp, outfielders Lewis Brinson and Matt Joyce were placed on the injured list (though COVID-19 was not publicly mentioned by either the players or the team). Brinson took an important step towards returning on Sunday by participating in an intrasquad simulated game at the Marlins alternate training site in Jupiter.

More updates to come.


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