Phillies allowed to work out at ballpark, no new positive COVID-19 test results

The weekend series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Toronto Blue Jays was postponed.

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Saturday, August 1, 2020
A foul ball that was hit into the stands sits on the ground of an empty stadium during the eight inning between the Miami Marlins and the Philadelphia Phillies, July 26, 2020.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- There were no new positive results in the latest COVID-19 tests for the Philadelphia Phillies and players will be allowed back in to Citizens Bank Park.

The team announced they received the results of Friday's tests, and just like the day before, they all came back negative.

In addition, the Phillies said players will be permitted to access Citizens Bank Park for staggered workouts beginning Saturday afternoon.

The Phillies organization had positive tests earlier in the week, none from players, and all activity at the ballpark had been suspended following an outbreak of COVID-19 on the last team they played, the Miami Marlins.

A member of the coaching staff and a member of the home clubhouse tested positive for COVID-19 from Wednesday's testing.

On Saturday, ESPN MLB Insider Jeff Passan tweeted sources say "there is optimism...that their last two positives, with a coach and clubhouse attendant, were false positives."

Passan said if they do turn out to be false positives that would mean the team's incubation period would then start back to last Sunday when they played the Marlins.

"The hope is that they'd be in the clear, at least when it comes to the fallout of the Marlins' series and its long-term impact," Passan said.

RELATED: MLB postponements timeline: How positive coronavirus tests have impacted the schedule

The Philadelphia Phillies say two staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.

On Wednesday, General manager Matt Klentak said an employee who works in the visiting clubhouse also tested positive.

The weekend series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Toronto Blue Jays was postponed.

More Teams More Cases

The Cardinals-Brewers game in Milwaukee on Saturday was postponed after one more player and three staff members with St. Louis tested positive for the coronavirus, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.

The Marlins received no new positive results in their latest round of coronavirus testing, a different person familiar with that situation said, but second baseman Isan Diaz opted out of the season.

The people with knowledge of the Cardinals' and Marlins' situations spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the tests had not been released publicly.

Two Cardinals players were flagged for positive tests on Friday, forcing the series opener in Milwaukee to be called off. The teams had hoped to resume play Saturday and make up Friday's game as part of a doubleheader Sunday.

The Cardinals learned of their first two positive tests Thursday night from samples taken Wednesday before a game in Minnesota. Players and staff were instructed to isolate in their hotel rooms, and the club said it was conducting rapid testing and contact tracing.

Saturday's game in Milwaukee is the 17th postponement caused by the coronavirus in the first 10 days of baseball's truncated 60-game season.

At least 21 members of the Marlins' traveling 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.

"This has been a tough week to see so many of my teammates come down with this virus, and see how quickly it spreads," Díaz wrote on Instagram. "After much deliberation and thought, I have made the difficult choice of opting out for the remainder of the 2020 season."

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 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 schedules of the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles have also been scrambled. Cleveland players and staff talked about postponing Friday night's game at Minnesota but played on. The Cardinals had played at Target Field on Wednesday, a day before the Indians arrived.


The Associated Press & ESPN contributed to this report