No new positive tests after postponements

July 31st, 2020

PHILADELPHIA – Is this latest news encouraging?

It is something. The Phillies announced Friday morning that there are no new positive results following Thursday’s COVID-19 tests, but they also said there will be no activities at Citizens Bank Park until further notice.

One coach and one member of the home clubhouse staff tested positive following Wednesday’s tests, which led Major League Baseball to postpone this weekend’s three-game series against the Blue Jays at Citizens Bank Park “out of an abundance of caution,” following the team’s weekend series against the Marlins, who have a large coronavirus outbreak. So far, no Phillies players have tested positive.

Phillies players, coaches and other personnel were scheduled to continue testing Friday.

The threat of a Phillies outbreak following the Marlins series previously caused the league to postpone Philadelphia’s four-game, home-and-home series this week against the Yankees at Citizens Bank Park and Yankee Stadium. The league then initially pushed Friday’s series opener against the Blue Jays into a doubleheader Saturday.

It appears the Phillis will not play again until Monday at the earliest, which would mean an eight-day break between games. Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Wednesday that the Phillies and Yankees have rescheduled their home-and-home series for next week. The Phillies are scheduled next week to play the Marlins in Miami, but Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said “it is very possible that we will have a different opponent.”

An eight-day break is not ideal under any circumstances, and on top of that, the Phillies do not know when they will be able to resume workouts. Pitchers still need to throw off a mound to stay sharp. Hitters need to hit.

“I don't dispute that this layoff this week has created a lot of challenges for us,” Klentak said Wednesday. “On the field, off the field. The administrative burden on many people. The uncertainty for the players. The players aren't playing baseball right now and they are used to playing almost daily. Now we're going to have five days off and we're going to ramp it up with two games on Saturday. That presents its own health risks -- maybe not COVID-related, but orthopedic.”