MLB postponements timeline: How positive coronavirus tests have impacted the schedule ESPN logo
Friday, August 21, 2020

It didn't take long for the reality of the coronavirus pandemic to affect the restart of the 2020 Major League Baseball season.

In just the last week of July, we saw more than a dozen postponements or schedule shifts, affecting eight different teams and stemming from outbreaks on the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals. And it's only continued from there.

It can be difficult to keep track of, but here's how the schedule impact has played out so far, starting with July 26's prelude to the first postponements on July 27.

Sunday, July 26

Postponed games: None.

Ninety minutes before the first pitch of the finale of a season-opening series between the Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, the Marlins announce that right-hander Jose Urena has been scratched from his scheduled start. No reason is given at the time, but later it is learned he is among four Marlins players who tested positive for COVID-19. The teams elect to play despite Urena's unavailability, and the Marlins win the game 11-6; later, Miami postpones its flight home.

Monday, July 27

Postponed games: Yankees at Phillies; Orioles at Marlins.

With the Marlins quarantined in Philadelphia, Miami's home opener against the Baltimore Orioles is postponed, as well as their scheduled game on Tuesday. At this point, the Marlins have at least 11 players and two coaches who have tested positive.

The Phillies' game against the New York Yankees is also postponed -- "out of an abundance of caution," according to MLB -- as Philadelphia awaits the results of its own set of coronavirus tests.

In an interview that airs Monday night on MLB Network, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says, "I don't put this in the nightmare category. It's not a positive thing, but I don't see it as a nightmare. ... That's why we have the expanded rosters. That's why we have the pool of additional players."

Tuesday, July 28

Postponed games: Yankees at Phillies; Orioles at Marlins.

After four more Marlins team members test positive -- bringing the total to at least 17 -- MLB announces that all of Miami's games will be suspended through Sunday. This includes a three-game weekend set against the Washington Nationals. A majority of Nats players had voted against playing the Marlins earlier in the day, according to ESPN and multiple reports.

"We continue to take this entire situation very seriously," Marlins CEO Derek Jeter says in a statement. "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."

In addition, the remainder of the Yankees-Phillies series -- a four-game home-and-home set in Philly and the Bronx -- is postponed after an attendant for the visiting clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park tests positive. Instead, the Yankees travel to Baltimore for a pair of games against the Orioles.

Wednesday, July 29

Postponed games: Phillies at Yankees; Orioles at Marlins. Replacement game: Yankees at Orioles.

In an update to its health and safety protocol, MLB, among other measures, announces it will require every team to travel with a compliance officer to ensure players and staff properly follow the league's rules.

The league also cancels Friday's scheduled game between theToronto Blue Jaysand Phillies, with the status of the rest of the weekend series pending additional test results.

Thursday, July 30

Postponed games: Phillies at Yankees; Orioles at Marlins. Replacement game: Yankees at Orioles.

The Phillies cancel all activities at Citizens Bank Park, and their weekend series against the Blue Jays is postponed, after a member of the coaching staff and a member of the home clubhouse staff test positive for COVID-19. No Phillies players have tested positive to date.

This leaves the Blue Jays -- who the Canadian government denied use of Rogers Centre this season due to travel restrictions, and who can't yet play at their alternate site, Sahlen Field in Buffalo, home of the club's Triple-A affiliate Buffalo Bisons, since it isn't ready -- temporarily homeless. The Jays decide to remain in Washington, where they have completed a "home" series against the Nats.

"Our plans right now are to stay put and let MLB work through whatever they're working through," Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo says. "We're not going to Philadelphia. Those games have been postponed. ... We're going to talk to the Nationals, see if we can work out here. If they say yes, we'll stay and work out until MLB tells us where to go next."

Friday, July 31

Postponed games: Cardinals at Brewers; Phillies at Blue Jays; Nationals at Marlins.

Weekend games already postponed (both Saturday and Sunday): Phillies at Blue Jays; Nationals at Marlins.

Two players on the St. Louis Cardinals test positive for COVID-19, resulting in Major League Baseball postponing Friday afternoon's game at the Milwaukee Brewers. Saturday's game remains on the schedule.

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"We are supportive of Major League Baseball's decision to postpone today's game and look forward to playing our home opener as soon as conditions safely allow," Brewers president/general manager David Stearns says in a statement. "The health and safety of our players and employees are, and will continue to be, our top priorities."

Meanwhile, the Marlins have now had 20 positive tests -- 18 by players, after yet another positive test.

Could all this jeopardize the entire season? Friday, Manfredtold MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark that it could.

Saturday, Aug. 1

Postponed games:Cardinals at Brewers were postponed again, this time after at leastfour more Cardinals tested positive for COVID-19.The Cardinals' positives represented the first positive tests for baseball outside of the East Coast since the regular season started last week.

The Brewers also announced that center fielder Lorenzo Cain decided to opt out for the remainder of the 2020 season:

Earlier in the day, Marlins infielder Isan Diaz became the first Miami player to opt out. He was not among the 21 members of the Marlins' traveling team to test positive in the past week.

Monday, Aug. 3

Postponed games: The four-game series between the Cardinals and Tigers scheduled to begin Monday in Detroit was postponed after MLB released a statement saying "the Cardinals have had 13 members of the organization test positive for COVID-19 in the last week, including seven players and six staff members,"

The Cardinals will stay in Milwaukee with a tentative plan for the team to resume its regular schedule on Friday against the Chicago Cubs in St. Louis.

Friday, Aug. 7

Postponed games: The three-game weekend series between the Cubs and Cardinals has been canceled in the wake of two more Cards players and a staffer testing positive. In total, nine Cardinals players have tested positive for the coronavirus since last week, with the latest two positives coming from samples collected over the previous two days. MLB initially announced that just Friday's game had been postponed, allowing for additional testing and contact tracing; the league subsequently announced that Saturday's and Sunday's games had also been postponed. The Cardinals have not played since July 29 because of positive coronavirus tests.

Saturday, Aug. 8

Pirates-Cardinals series postponed:The three-game series between the NL Central rivals that was supposed to run Monday through Wednesday has been postponed as the Cardinals' ongoing problems with players and personnel who have tested positive for coronavirus.In total, nine Cardinals players and seven staffers have tested positive since last week, and the Cardinals have had 13 of MLB's total of 27 games scrapped because of their outbreak.

Monday, Aug. 10

Cardinals-Tigers doubleheader postponed: Ongoing caution over putting the Cardinals back in action as the team and MLB await further COVID-19 test results have had their scheduled doubleheader against the Tigers on Thursday postponed. The Cardinals played their last game on July 29, so their potential return to action on Aug. 14 would mark more than two weeks without St. Louis playing a game.

Thursday, Aug. 13

Cards' return waits another day: The Cardinals, who last played July 29, will have to wait one more day before returning to the field as their Friday night game against the White Sox was pushed to a Saturday doubleheader. St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak also said the team is going to play doubleheaders on Monday and Wednesday against the Cubs at Wrigley Field after the NL Central rivals had a series postponed last weekend.

Saturday, Aug. 15

Remainder of Pirates-Reds series postponed: One of Cincinnati's players tested positive, a development that was reported to both squads after the completion of Friday's game, and leading to a decision to postpone the two teams' games on Saturday and Sunday.

Thursday, Aug. 20

Mets have positive tests; games with Marlins, Yankees postponed: Two members of the Mets' organization have tested positive for COVID-19, leading to the postponement of their next two games. The Mets' games on Aug. 20 against the Marlins in Miami, and Aug. 21 at Citi Field against the crosstown rival Yankees have been postponed.

Friday, Aug. 21

Remainder of Yankees-Mets series postponed:A day after the opener of the Subway Series at Citi Field was postponed, the rest of the weekend's games were postponed as well.

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