Chris Szagola/Associated Press
The Philadelphia Phillies announced Thursday that two of their staff members have tested positive for COVID-19:
The organization noted that while no players tested positive for COVID-19, one coach and one member of the home clubhouse staff did. As a result, all activity at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia has been canceled until further notice.
Philadelphia was supposed to play a home-and-home series with the New York Yankees this week, but all four games were postponed over concerns that the Phillies were exposed to COVID-19 during their season-opening series against the Miami Marlins.
As of Thursday, at least 17 Marlins players and 19 people within the Marlins organization are known to have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Major League Baseball paused the Marlins’ season through at least Sunday, at which point their situation will be reevaluated and it will be determined when they can return to action.
The Phillies are supposed to play a three-game set against the Toronto Blue Jays at Citizens Bank Park beginning Saturday, but that could now be in jeopardy.
Philadelphia has not played a game since Sunday, when it lost 11-6 to the Marlins to fall to 1-2 on the season.
Rather than risk exposure to COVID-19 by facing the Phillies this week, the Yankees didn’t play Monday or Tuesday, but they altered their schedule to play a two-game set against the Orioles in Baltimore on Wednesday and Thursday before hosting the Boston Red Sox for a three-game series Friday through Sunday.
The Phillies went just 81-81 last season after signing outfielder Bryce Harper in free agency, but there was a great deal of optimism surrounding the team entering the 2020 campaign.
Philly made several significant moves, including signing starting pitcher Zack Wheeler and shortstop Didi Gregorius, as well as hiring Joe Girardi as their new manager.
The Phillies have neither reached the playoffs nor posted a winning record since going 102-60 in 2011.
Teams like the Phillies and Marlins are in a difficult spot since there are few days off throughout the 60-game schedule, making it difficult to find time for makeup games.
One possibility Girardi mentioned is that if some teams are unable to play 60 games, the standings should be determined by winning percentage rather than record.
Just prior to the start of the 2020 season, MLB and the MLBPA agreed to expand the playoffs to eight teams per league for this season only.