Games in Mexico City, San Juan canceled

March 19th, 2020

Major League Baseball on Thursday canceled two international series scheduled for the first half of the season due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Padres and D-backs will not play in Mexico City from April 18-19, nor will the Mets and Marlins in San Juan, Puerto Rico, from April 28-30.

The series between the Padres and D-backs was to be Major League Baseball's first regular-season trip to the Mexican capital. The San Juan series was to be the first for the Mets and Marlins in Puerto Rico since 2010.

If the games between the Padres and D-backs are made up, they will be played in Phoenix, as Arizona was the home team on the schedule. The same will apply to the Mets-Marlins series, as Miami was the scheduled home team.

MLB announced on Monday that the start of the regular season will be delayed past those two dates. The Centers for Disease Control recently restricted events of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks, and "the opening of the 2020 regular season will be pushed back in accordance with that guidance," the league's statement said.

The Padres and D-backs reacted on Twitter to Thursday’s news.

"MLB will keep fans updated on decisions regarding plans for the 2020 schedule in the days and weeks ahead," a release from the league said earlier this week. "The clubs remain committed to playing as many games as possible when the season begins."

The Mexico City series was scheduled to take place at the newly opened Estadio Alfredo Harp Helú, a 20,000-seat ballpark named after the Padres' minority owner. Harp Helú is also proprietor of los Diablos Rojos, the Mexican League team that plays its games there.

The two games were to be the 12th and 13th to take place in the country. Both clubs lay claim to sizable fan bases in Mexico. The D-backs have yet to play a series there, while the Padres have played three prior series, all in Monterrey.

The Mets-Marlins series would have meant a homecoming for Mets reliever Edwin Díaz and catcher Tomás Nido, as well as for Marlins infielder Isan Díaz. (American-born Mets reliever Seth Lugo is one-quarter Puerto Rican, appearing for Puerto Rico in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.)

Neither the Mets nor Marlins have played regular-season games outside the United States or Canada since their three-game series in San Juan in 2010.