The New York Mets won’t have to look far Tuesday afternoon to find people who understand exactly what they’ve been through and what they’re beginning to embark upon.
The Mets are scheduled to resume play when they host the Miami Marlins in a doubleheader between the National League East rivals.
The Marlins beat the host Washington Nationals 11-8 on Monday night. The Mets haven’t played since Wednesday, when they edged the host Marlins 5-3.
The Mets had their next four scheduled games postponed after a player and coach tested positive for the coronavirus. Included in that stretch was last Thursday’s series finale against Miami, which will be made up in Tuesday’s nightcap with the Marlins as the “home” team.
Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said the two men, whom he didn’t identify, both had symptoms of the virus but were better, though not yet 100 percent, following a 36-hour period he identified as “the peak of their challenges.”
Added Van Wagenen: “We’re feeling much more comfortable about their safety. There’s so much that remains unknown, our hope is that they’re through the worst of it, that they can continue to recover quickly.”
The Mets’ coronavirus outbreak was particularly jarring for a team that has been aggressive in its protocols since reconvening in early July. Van Wagenen said he believed the two men were not infected due to a breach in protocol.
“We do feel comfortable that the spread has not come from player to player or coach to coach,” Van Wagenen said. “Our best guess it that it came from some outside spot.”
The Mets’ news was all too familiar to the Marlins, who played just three games before their season was interrupted when 18 players and two coaches tested positive for the coronavirus.
Miami, which still has eight players on the injured list for undisclosed reasons, missed eight games from July 27 through Aug. 3 and will play its third doubleheader on Tuesday, meaning the team will have played 22 games in 21 days.
For the Mets, Tuesday marks the beginning of a six-day stretch in which they are scheduled to play nine games, including doubleheaders Friday and Sunday against the New York Yankees.
As a result, the Mets will have to utilize and perhaps discover depth much as the Marlins have done. Miami added 17 players to its roster prior to resuming play against the Baltimore Orioles on Aug. 4 and has made a whopping 89 transactions this season.
Only 12 of the players on Monday’s 28-man roster were on the Opening Day roster.
“It just speaks to the uniqueness of the 2020 season, but it also reinforces what I always preach — that you can never have enough depth,” Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill told reporters Monday.
Neither team had its probable starting pitchers listed as of early Tuesday morning.
Health permitting, the likeliest options for the Mets are two-time defending National League Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom, who started Aug. 19, and Rick Porcello, who last started on Aug. 16.
The Marlins are likely to dip into their minor league system for at least one of the starters. Left-hander Trevor Rogers, who went 6-10 with a 2.90 ERA in 23 starts between Class-A and Double-A last year, is expected to be recalled Tuesday.
–Field Level Media