The recent outbreak of the coronavirus among Miami Marlins players and staff has prompted concern about the ability of MLB to finish an already abbreviated 2020 season.
The Orioles’ game in Miami was canceled July 27 after at least 11 players and two coaches on the Marlins reportedly tested positive for the virus. The Marlins were forced to remain in Philadelphia as the doctors and the league assessed the situation.
The Orioles returned to Baltimore, which means the game scheduled for July 28 in Miami is also canceled. The teams could potentially play at Camden Yards with the Marlins serving as the home team.
The Marlins had just completed a series in Philadelphia, and as a result, the July 27 game between the Yankees and Phillies at Citizens Bank Park was also canceled due to concerns with COVID-19.
“Tonight’s scheduled games between the Miami Marlins and the Baltimore Orioles at Marlins Park and the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees at Citizens Bank Park have been postponed while Major League Baseball conducts additional COVID-19 testing,” MLB said in a statement. “The members of the Marlins’ traveling party are self-quarantining in place while awaiting the outcome of those results.
“Major League Baseball has been coordinating with the Major League Baseball Players Association; the Marlins; the Orioles; the Marlins’ weekend opponent, the Phillies; and club medical staffs, and will continue to provide updates as appropriate.”
This is a dire situation for MLB, which was only three games into the 60-games schedule with an expanded playoff looming in October.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred remains confident in the league’s guidelines despite the adversity.
“I remain optimistic the protocols are strong enough that it will allow us to continue to play even through an outbreak like this and complete our season,” Manfred told MLB Network.
The Resurgence Of Alex Cobb
The Orioles are relying heavily on Alex Cobb to help anchor the rotation.
That might be a gamble after his past two injured-marred seasons.
However, Cobb was in solid form during his 2020 debut, paving the way for a 7-2 victory against the Boston Red Sox July 25.
“It’s a very small step in that journey, but you have to start somewhere and really happy we were able to do that,” Cobb said. “There’s just been a lot of work put into this journey and the post-surgery and rehab by a lot of people and I’m really thankful to everybody who’s helped me along the way and it’s really nice to be able see results immediately once the regular season started.”
Cobb allowed one run and four hits with no walks and six strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings and picked up his first win since Sept. 4, 2018. He felt exhilarated by the outing.
“There’s no feeling like sitting at the entrance and giving every single one of your teammates a high-five or a fist pound and thanking them for working behind you and them saying how nice it was to play behind you,” he said. “I didn’t forget it, it’s one of my favorite feelings in the game and it’s something I’ve wanted to have for a long time. I know it’s been over a year since it happened, but I never forgot that feeling. Love it. It’s my favorite.”
Cobb has undergone hip and knee surgeries since signing a four-year, $57-million deal with the Orioles in 2018. Cobb was limited to 12.1 innings in 2019. He went 5-15 with a 4.90 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in 28 starts the previous year.
The key for Cobb is staying healthy. He has the potential to make an impact for the Orioles or perhaps become a key trade chip for the rebuilding club.
Manager Brandon Hyde was impressed with the outing, especially as he said it didn’t appear Cobb was throwing at his full potential.
“I don’t think actually he had his best stuff. I liked the life to his fastball, I thought he threw some pretty good curveballs, I don’t think that was his best split,” Hyde said. “He had a little bit better one in his last simulated start that we had. But the competitor knows how to pitch and really did a great job. Stretched him a little bit. He had only thrown up to the fifth inning, got up five times.”
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