Major League Baseball's season is barely two weeks old, but the schedule has been changed multiple times due to coronavirus outbreaks on two teams. The Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals, have both dealt with team-wide outbreaks. Miami was sidelined for more than a week before resuming play, while St. Louis has not been on the field since July 29.
The Cardinals outbreak was still growing over the weekend, and it caused MLB to cancel the team's fourth consecutive series. The Cardinals will not play their originally scheduled three-game series vs. the Pirates, and it's unclear when the team will return.
As of Monday, 27 different MLB games impacting a total of 11 teams had been postponed due to COVID-19 cases. Here are those postponed games and their original dates:
- Marlins-Orioles four-game home-and-home series (July 27-30)
- Yankees-Phillies four-game home-and-home series (July 27-30)
- Marlins-Nationals three-game series (July 31-Aug. 2)
- Phillies-Blue Jays three-game series (July 31-Aug. 2)
- Brewers-Cardinals three game series (July 31-Aug. 2)
- Cardinals-Tigers four-game series (Aug. 3-6)
- Cardinals-Cubs three-game series (Aug. 7-9)
- Cardinals-Pirates three-game series (Aug. 10-12)
"The health and safety protocols were designed with a challenging circumstance like the one facing the Marlins in mind," MLB said in a statement. "The response outlined in the joint MLB-MLBPA Operations Manual was triggered immediately upon learning of the cluster of positive cases, including contact tracing and the quarantining and testing of all of the identified close contacts. The Marlins' personnel who tested positive remain in isolation and are receiving care."
MLB will try to make up all postponed games later in the season via doubleheaders and eliminating off-days. The league announced a new schedule for teams whose schedules were impacted by the outbreaks on Aug. 6, and it featured 14 different doubleheaders. The league intends to have every team try and play 60 games this season, but it's unclear if the Cardinals could make up every game they've lost.
Teams finished with an unequal number of games around the 1981 strike -- some teams played as many as 111 games that season while others played as few as 103 -- and the standings were based on winning percentage. In these adverse times, a similar strategy would be warranted this year.
COVID-19 carries up to a 14-day incubation period (the time from exposure to development of symptoms) with a median of five days.
Commissioner Rob Manfred said Aug. 1 there was "no reason to quit" the 2020 MLB season and noted the league would move forward.