The Miami Marlins are in uncharted territory. The team landed in Philadelphia last Thursday and haven’t left since. They could be there through Sunday considering MLB has paused Miami’s season as the Marlins deal with this COVID outbreak.
The details of this story continue to change, but here’s what we know so far.
15 of the 33 players on the Marlins roster, and two members of the staff, have reportedly tested positive for the virus. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported Miguel Rojas as one of the new positives. Rojas leads the NL with a .700 batting average, .750 OBP, 1.300 slugging percentage, 2.050 OPS and .476 OPS-plus.
The team remains quarantined in their Philadelphia hotel awaiting results of the latest round of testing. The Marlins took the opening series of the year against the Phillies 2-1. They won’t play again until at least next Tuesday.
In a statement this afternoon, the league said: “Given the current circumstances, MLB believes that it is most prudent to allow the Marlins time to focus on providing care for their players and planning their Baseball Operations for a resumption early next week.”
MLB postponed this week’s series between the Phillies and the Yankees. New York will instead play the Orioles on Wednesday and Thursday.
The Marlins are scheduled to host the Phillies in Miami Tuesday, but it remains unclear whether they’ll be allowed to play.
Andy Slater reported earlier today that Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said the Marlins should follow the quarantine protocols (14 days) upon returning to South Florida. However, Florida governor Ron DeSantis put an exception in place for sports teams to travel in and out of the state without quarantining.
JUST IN: Miami-Dade @MayorGimenez says the Marlins should follow the 14-day quarantine protocol when returning to South Florida after they were knowingly exposed to COVID-19.
— Andy Slater (@AndySlater) July 28, 2020
MLB said in their statement that more than 6,400 tests have been conducted since July 24th and, other than Miami, no franchise has seen a positive test. However, to think this will be unique to one club seems naïve.
Marlins Roster Moves
If the Marlins get to their game next Tuesday and have to play, they’ll need to fill out their roster. Over the last few days, the team has claimed three relief pitchers off waivers and signed a minor league free agent. All four of these new players have been added to the team’s 40-man roster.
The Marlins will need to move additional players to the IL in order to create more space on the 40-man. So far, only Jorge Alfaro, Garrett Cooper, Harold Ramirez and Jose Urena have been placed on the 10-day IL.
Snider last played in MLB in 2015. He signed as a minor league free agent and could play either corner outfield spot. Over an eight-year career, Snider played 630 games and hit 54 home runs. His slash line in 2015, his last year in the Majors, is .232/.315/.350.
Miami claimed a pair of pitches off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds. Shafer is a South Florida native and played collegiately at the University of Florida. Shafer made 40 relief appearances for the Blue Jays over the last two seasons. He sports a 3.75 ERA with 41 K and 32 BB over 41 IP.
The other Red added to the roster is a former Marlin. Josh D. Smith pitched six games for Miami in 2019 and posted an 8.31 ERA. He surrendered four earned runs over 4.1 IP. The Marlins have another Josh Smith, Josh A. Smith, in the 60-man player pool as well.
Morin comes to the Marlins via Milwaukee. Over a six-year MLB career, the righty Morin has appeared for five different clubs, posting a 4.65 ERA.
A number of position players at the team’s alternate training site in Jupiter awaited a call-up. Lewis Brinson has worked out after missing all of the summer camp due to COVID-related issues. He’s almost certainly to be among the call-ups.
The same can likely be said of Jordan Yamamoto. A surprise option to Jupiter, Yamamoto started 15 games for the Marlins in 2019. He had a blistering start to his career, with back-to-back starts of seven scoreless innings, but he struggled to end the year. He finished 4-5 with a 4.46 ERA and couldn’t win the fifth starter spot out of summer camp.
Monte Harrison could make his MLB debut. One of the last cuts of summer camp, Harrison sports power and speed as an outfield prospect. A wrist injury late in 2019 kept Harrison from joining the team last September.
Marlins CEO Derek Jeter’s Statement
On Tuesday, Marlins CEO Derek Jeter released a statement as well.
“We continue to take this entire situation very seriously. All of our players, coaches and staff are, understandably, having a difficult time enduring this experience. After receiving additional test results on our Major League team this morning, we reached out to the Commissioner’s Office with concern for the health and safety of our team as well as our opponents.
“We have moved to a daily testing schedule while we isolate and quarantine appropriately, along with enacting additional preventive procedures with our traveling party. We look forward to safely returning to Miami where we conducted a successful and healthy Spring 2.0 before departing on the road and experiencing challenges. For the time being, we will remain in Philadelphia and gather information in order to make informed decisions and prepare for our return to action next week.”
Beyond all of this, another frustrating element of the coverage has been the lack of respect for the Marlins. Both ESPN and Twitter have published content with Miami’s old logo. The team switched its logo and primary colors in November of 2018.
— David Fernandez (@ByDLFernandez) July 28, 2020
Check out our discussion on YouTube from this afternoon: