PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — The Miami Marlins scratched right-hander Jose Urena from his scheduled start Sunday in Philadelphia and delayed their postgame trip home amid concerns about a possible coronavirus outbreak within the team. No reason was given for Urena being scratched in the series finale.
Miami manager Don Mattingly said the Marlins decided to wait until Monday to leave Philadelphia, and they plan to arrive in Miami hours before their home opener against Baltimore.
The trip might be made while multiple players remain in Philadelphia.
“The guys that tested positive are quarantined here in Philly,” Mattingly said. The team made no roster moves after the game.
Urena’s scratching came right before the Phillies concluded their 2020 opening series with the Marlins.
Now, there is a lot of questions about who was exposed to the virus.
MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported Urena tested positive for COVID-19 and “feels fine.”
Marlins starter Jose Urena was scratched for start vs. Phillies today as he tested positive. He feels fine, so that’s good.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 26, 2020
But this may just be the beginning.
According to Heyman, there may be as many as three Marlins who have tested positive for COVID-19.
Have heard Urena plus 2 starting position players tested positive. Florida is a hot spot. Can’t say this is shocking. https://t.co/hxQqrFoefY
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 26, 2020
The Marlins had other players unavailable Sunday as Garrett Cooper and Harold Ramirez also were out of the lineup after playing in the first two games of the season-opening, three-game set against the Phillies. Again, Miami did not immediately say why they were not in the lineup.
Marlins catcher Jorge Alfaro went on the injured list hours before the season opener Friday at Philadelphia. Miami didn’t give a reason but said it expected Alfaro to return this season.
The team’s precarious health raised anew doubts about MLB’s ability to finish the season during a pandemic. In Cincinnati, Reds second baseman Mike Moustakas and center fielder Nick Senzel felt sick Sunday, a day after a teammate went on the injured list because he tested positive for COVID-19.
The Marlins’ decision to postpone their flight home was made with family members in mind.
“We were more comfortable flying as a group later,” Mattingly said. “We’re talking about these guys traveling back home to their families and their kids, and it’s the reason we want to be safe.”
Some Marlins players texted each other about the team’s health issues before Sunday’s game, but there was no talk of declining to play, shortstop Miguel Rojas said.
“That was never our mentality,” Rojas said. “We knew this could happen at some point. We came to the ballpark ready to play.”
Said Mattingly: “It’s fair to say guys are concerned about things. They want how they’re feeling about the situation to be heard. I think it’s fair. We’re talking about health.”
Right-hander Robert Dugger said he learned at 8:30 a.m. that he would be filling in for Urena. Dugger said the Marlins are braced for the uncertainty that comes with trying to hold a season during a pandemic.
“There’s nothing we can really do,” he said. “It’s out of our control. We just do the best we can with the masks and social distancing and all that, and hope for the best.”
The Marlins have been on the road since Tuesday — first in Atlanta for exhibition games against the Braves on Tuesday and Wednesday and then Philadelphia for season-opening series.
The Braves have been without their top two catchers, Tyler Flowers and Travis d’Arnaud, after both players showed symptoms of the coronavirus.
Mattingly declined to say whether he thought the Marlins’ health issues were related to the Atlanta stop. But he said he’ll be happy to return to Miami, even though it’s a hot spot for the pandemic.
“It feels safer in Miami than anywhere,” Mattingly said. “You feel safe at the ballpark; I feel safe with my surroundings going home. It’s a lot scarier on the road.”
The Phillies lost, 11-6, to the Marlins on Sunday to drop to 1-2 on the 60-game season. The Phils welcome the New York Yankees to town beginning on Monday for a four-game home-and-home series.
CBS3’s Dan Koob contributed to this report.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)