The opening weekend series between the Mets and Nationals has been postponed after four Washington players tested positive for COVID-19. Initially, just Thursday night's Opening Day matchup in Washington had been postponed, but on Friday MLB decided to put off the entire three-game series so as to allow additional testing and contact tracing. The Nationals had been set to begin the season without multiple players because of a positive COVID-19 test and contact tracing.
Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo spoke with reporters Thursday evening and again Friday afternoon and said that in total, there are four confirmed players who tested positive, with another five players plus one staff member in confirmed close contact. All nine are in quarantine following the club's extensive contact tracing, Rizzo added.
"I've got the utmost confidence it was not a player breaking protocol," Rizzo said of the club's outbreak.
MLB has not announced a makeup dates. Last season MLB postponed multiple games while sorting through COVID-19 issues, so it is no surprise the Mets and Nationals will not play their season-opening series this weekend. Jacob deGrom vs. Max Scherzer.:
The Mets are scheduled to face the Phillies for a three-game series in Philadelphia beginning on Monday. The Mets have not had any COVID issues and seem likely to play the series. The Nats, meanwhile, are currently set to welcome the Braves to D.C. for a three-game series starting Monday, though those games could be impacted as well.
Because it is so early in the season, and because the Mets and Nationals are division rivals with five head-to-head series remaining after this weekend, it will be fairly easy to schedule any makeup games. MLB will once again play seven-inning games during doubleheaders this year.
Per league protocols, the identity of the Nationals players who tested positive and those quarantined have not been announced.
Last year the Cardinals and Marlins were involved in MLB's two most significant COVID-19 outbreaks. Both teams were shut down approximately two weeks with double-digit players and staff members testing positive in the early weeks of the abbreviated 2020 season. The final few weeks of the regular season and postseason went smoothly, then Justin Turner tested positive during World Series Game 6.