The Miami Marlins received no new positive results in their latest round of coronavirus testing, a person familiar with the situation said Saturday, but second baseman Isan Diaz decided to opt out of the season.
The Philadelphia Phillies, meanwhile, said Saturday they had no new positives from tests a day before. Players will be permitted to access Citizens Bank Park for staggered workouts beginning in the afternoon.
The person discussing the Marlins spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the tests had not been released publicly. At least 21 members of the Marlins’ travelling party have been infected by an outbreak at the start of a season-opening trip.
The team hasn’t played since Sunday in Philadelphia but hopes to resume games next week.
Diaz consistently tested negative while the season was on hold, but he decided to become the first Miami player to opt out. He played in two of the Marlins' three games before their season was halted.
Diaz batted .173 as a rookie last year, but the organization has big hopes regarding his potential.
The infected Marlins players and staff left Philadelphia in sleeper buses Friday for Miami, where they will stay together in quarantine. The rest of the team remained in isolation at a hotel in Philadelphia.
With six teams idled Friday by the COVID-19 pandemic, Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke to union leader Tony Clark about the importance of players following the sport’s coronavirus protocols.
Manfred and Clark talked about what needs to be done to finish the season, a person familiar with the conversation said. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
The conversation between Manfred and Clark, first reported by ESPN, comes amid growing evidence that the spread of infection threatens to overtake efforts to play ball.
“Some things aren’t looking too good right now, but we have to play up to that point. Players are seeing what can happen,” Houston manager Dusty Baker said.
The latest game postponed was Milwaukee’s home opener against St. Louis, scrapped hours before the first pitch after two Cardinals players tested positive .
The Cardinals said in a statement they learned Thursday night about positive tests from samples collected Wednesday. Players and staff were instructed to isolate in their hotel rooms.
The Cardinals and Brewers still hoped to play Saturday night, and to make up Friday’s game with a pair of seven-inning games Sunday under a newly approved MLB plan for doubleheaders.
The Phillies-Blue Jays series in Philadelphia was among two weekend series called off earlier. The Marlins were hit with a virus outbreak in Philadelphia that infected at least 20 members of their travelling party, and both Miami and the Phillies are sidelined for at least a week.
The schedules of the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles have also been scrambled a week into a season. Cleveland players and staff talked about postponing Friday night’s game at Minnesota. The Cardinals had played at Target Field on Wednesday, a day before the Indians arrived.