Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays will open Tropicana Field to players on the 40-man roster for light workouts beginning on Monday. Players will only be allowed to play catch, run, do cardio, and do light weight work. They will not be allowed to throw off mounds, hit in the cages, or use the clubhouse and weight room.
Major League Baseball was suspended in mid-March due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Monday will mark the Rays’ first team-sanctioned gathering since then. As Topkin notes, players will still be limited to small groups and have to adhere to social distancing protocol.
Florida is among the states gearing up for the return of professional sports. California, New York, and Texas recently gave the all-clear. Florida governor Ron DeSantis said on Monday that “getting sports back online is important for our nation’s mojo.”
On Tuesday, the Marlins opened opened their spring training facility in Jupiter for limited workouts. We’ll likely see more and more sites open up in the coming weeks.
Phillies COVID testing results revealed no new positives for the fourth straight day, the team announced this morning. As a result, they will resume their schedule tonight against the Yankees.
It’ll be the first game for the Phillies since last Sunday’s game against the Marlins. The Miami outbreak prompted the Phillies’ season to be shut down, but the lack of positive tests beyond team staff that had more direct contact with the visiting Marlins is an encouraging sign. The Phillies COVID testing strongly suggests that cross-team infection from on-the-field activity is not a significant problem. This could bode well for, say, the Brewers, who have been idled a few days due to the outbreak emerging on their would-be opponents this past weekend, the St. Louis Cardinals.
All of this, of course, puts the Phillies well behind their usual schedule. They’ve played just three games and have had minimal baseball activity in the past eight days. Whether that shows up in the performances of Jake Arrieta and Aaron Nola, tonight and tomorrow night’s starters, respectively, will be worth watching.
All in all, though, the Phillies COVID testing results are good news. And folks, we could use some good news right now.
UPDATE: The Marlins are negative too: