The New York Yankees are expected to face the Philadelphia Phillies next week, but more COVID-19 issues may prevent that from happening.
The first Yankees-Philadelphia Phillies series of the season had to be postponed due to COVID-19, and the same issue may arise once again for the two teams.
On Thursday afternoon, Jeff Passan of ESPN reported that the Philadelphia Phillies canceled workouts and shut down activities after a coach and clubhouse attendant tested positive for COVID-19.
The Philadelphia Phillies have canceled workouts today after a coach and clubhouse attendant tested positive for coronavirus. Activities are shut down “until further notice,” according to the team.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 30, 2020
Not long after, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet reported that, according to Toronto Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo, the Blue Jays-Phillies series scheduled for the upcoming weekend has been postponed.
The #BlueJays vs. Phillies games this weekend have been postponed per Charlie Montoyo
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) July 30, 2020
The Phillies have found themselves in this position after hosting the Miami Marlins in their inaugural series of the season. The Marlins have fallen victim to a COVID-19 outbreak and according to Ken Rosenthal, 17 players and two coaches have tested positive, thus far.
Another Marlins player has tested positive for COVID-19, but the team anticipated this result from its contact tracing, a source tells The Athletic. Latest positive case brings team totals to 17 players and two coaches, though one of the coaches has since tested negative.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 30, 2020
The Marlins were set to host the Baltimore Orioles but that didn’t happen for obvious reasons. The Phillies, meanwhile, were scheduled to play a four-game home-and-home series against the Yankees with the first two games being held in Philadelphia.
That didn’t happen for precautionary reasons, even though no Phillies player had tested positive. It’s also worth noting that no Phillies players have tested positive yet.
MLB was able to schedule a brief two-game matchup between the Yankees and Orioles at Camden Yards, which began on Wednesday and will conclude on Thursday.
The Marlins are off until Sunday after the Washington Nationals voted against going to Miami for their weekend series. The Phillies were supposed to be off until Friday before beginning a series against the Blue Jays. That is no longer the case.
What does all this mean for the Yankees?
This sentence from Aaron Boone in many ways describes MLB this year: “I’m under the impression we are playing the Phillies next week.”
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 29, 2020
Now that the Phillies have some positive tests in the clubhouse and they’ve shut down all activities for an unspecified period of time, there’s a chance the series doesn’t happen.
Nothing is concrete and MLB hasn’t made an official statement about the situation or what is going to happen with regard to scheduling, but it’s difficult not to think ahead.
If that series doesn’t, in fact, end up happening, the schedules of several teams will be impacted yet again, and MLB will need to make adjustments.
The Yankees have already experienced a canceled series, and MLB was able to re-jigger the schedule with two games with the Orioles to make up for it. However, a canceled series against the Phillies next week might prove to be more complicated.
The idea of the Yankees facing the Marlins’ scheduled opponent next week isn’t a bad one since the Marlins are unlikely to play, as well, but that might not work since the Phillies and Marlins were originally slated to play each other then.
MLB is going to have to think hard and fast about how it’s going to address and resolve this issue. This isn’t a great situation for anyone and the Marlins outbreak continues to have ripple effects on teams they haven’t even been in contact with.