MIAMI—Less than three weeks in advance of their July 24 regular season opener, the Marlins are short-handed as president of baseball operations Michael Hill announced at Marlins Park on Saturday afternoon that four players have tested positive for COVID-19. One tested positive on Wednesday during MLB’s mandatory intake screening (which identified 31 total MLB player cases), while the other three learned they had the virus from previous tests. None of their identities have been released.
Joe Frisaro of MLB.com adds that the three players who learned of their infections prior to the intake screening are all “nearing the end” of 14-day self-quarantine periods. Hill hopes they will be able to return to action soon after being cleared by MLB protocols.
Of the 42 players who currently belong to the Marlins Park Summer Camp workout group, six of them have not had confirmed appearances at the facility yet: Brad Boxberger, Jazz Chisholm, Matt Joyce, Aaron Northcraft and Alex Vesia (updated through Sunday morning). However, team workouts are being staggered across several different parts of the day to allow for appropriate social distancing. Some sessions are closed to the media. Therefore, it’s impossible to speculate further at this time.
The club’s total of four positive cases applies to the entire 60-man player pool. It may include prospects who’ve been assigned to train at the alternate site in Jupiter (rather than being limited to the names mentioned above).
Meanwhile, three Miami Heat players have tested positive this week. The team has been preparing relocate to Orlando later this month for the resumption of the 2019-20 NBA season.
These developments are a sobering reminder of how difficult it will be to ensure the safety of Miami’s professional athletes even when taking extreme precautions. The state of Florida as a whole reported a record-setting 11,458 new daily cases on Friday.