Within an hour of Saturday’s scheduled start time for the Marlins vs. Yankees game, there was still no Miami lineup and anticipated roster moves hadn’t been announced. And now we know why: Don Mattingly has tested positive for COVID-19.
Mattingly was fully vaccinated earlier this season, but is experiencing mild symptoms. He’s been ruled out for the rest of this series and could be absent longer than that. In the meantime, bench coach James Rowson will serve as the Marlins acting manager.
The vast majority of Marlins major league personnel are also vaccinated. The team reached MLB’s recommended 85% vaccination rate on June 1. As a result, Mattingly’s case is less likely to result in an outbreak than it would have otherwise.
Mattingly has been ejected from games three times since the start of 2020 and Rowson handled his duties in each of those instances. However, this will be the most substantial opportunity yet for him to get acclimated to this role.
In previous offseasons, Rowson has interviewed for a handful of MLB managerial vacancies, including the Red Sox last winter. He’s expected to do more of the same again considering that Mattingly’s 2022 mutual option was exercised earlier this month. Despite modest expectations in the midst of a non-contending season, the 44-year-old will no doubt be determined to lead the Fish to as many wins as possible while the regular skipper is away.
Fish Stripes wishes Donnie a speedy recovery!