The Phillies’ season has been paused until the weekend.
No game in New York on Wednesday.
Ditto for Thursday.
This means the Phillies’ entire home-and-home series against the New York Yankees has been postponed due to COVID-19 concerns.
At the moment, the Phillies are scheduled to resume play Friday night at Citizens Bank Park against the Toronto Blue Jays. The Phillies will be the visiting team against a team that is not allowed to play in its home country because of COVID-19 concerns.
Update: The Phillies will now resume their season Saturday. Friday's game has been postponed and the Phillies will play the Blue Jays in a doubleheader Saturday at Citizens Bank Park. Game 1 is at 3:07 p.m. with Game 2 coming 25 minutes after the first one ends.
The Phillies found themselves in the middle of the health crisis after their weekend opponent, the Miami Marlins, learned of 13 positive tests for COVID-19 during their stay in Philadelphia.
The Phillies game against the Yankees scheduled for Monday night was postponed and Phillies players were tested that day. Though no players tested positive, Tuesday night’s game was also postponed out of “an abundance of caution,” according to Major League Baseball. That caution has now carried over to Wednesday and Thursday.
The Marlins, meanwhile, will be shut down through the weekend and get this … their next scheduled game is against the Phillies next Tuesday night. That three-game series is scheduled to be played in Miami, but that’s dependent on the approval of Miami government officials and the approval of Phillies players. They will (and should) have a voice in this. Earlier on Tuesday, Washington Nationals players expressed reservations about traveling to Miami for a series that was to begin Friday. That series has now been postponed.
While the Phillies and Marlins are on hold, the Yankees, who idled in a Philadelphia hotel the last two days, were told to head to Baltimore to play the Orioles on Wednesday. The Orioles were originally scheduled to play in Miami.
If this all sounds crazy, it’s because it is. Major League Baseball is trying to squeeze in a 60-game season (that might not be 60 games for some teams) then stage a postseason in the middle of a pandemic but the virus is a nasty foe that could take the whole plan down. Just a few days into the schedule, it has already had a huge and troubling impact.
Phillies players, who were in close proximity to Marlins players over the weekend, were tested again on Tuesday and will be again every day until returning to play. The resumption of the Phils’ schedule could very well depend on the results of those tests.
Phillies players have been tested in their cars at the ballpark. They have the test and then go home. It’s not clear if players will be allowed in the ballpark to work out on Wednesday or Thursday. The pause in action could create health concerns even beyond the overriding COVID concerns if pitchers aren’t able to stay on their throwing programs.
Though no firm plans have been articulated, MLB indicated that it intends to make up postponements.