The baseball world’s sum of all fears came to a reality today when upwards of a dozen players and staff from the Miami Marlins tested positive for COVID-19 over the last few days. The team stayed in Philadelphia overnight while they ponder their next move as their game against the Orioles for today was cancelled as well as the Phillies and Yankees game scheduled for today.
The Nationals finally gave confirmation of a negative MLB lab test for Juan Soto according to manager Dave Martinez, but there is still a lot of mystery surrounding if he took an MLB lab test on Thursday with the rest of his teammates. The theory of the ‘false positive‘ is making more sense as previously discussed. The Washington Nationals could reinstate Soto once he has two negative tests consecutively.
Earlier today, Martinez did an early ZOOM conference, and said it is hard to sleep at night in talking about the COVID situation, and he didn’t think any of his players would opt-out at this point. He got emotional as he finished up the call.
“We have guys in our clubhouse who are concerned as well,” Martinez said. “The most important thing is the safety of our players and coaching staff. Everybody here. This is our family. I worry about each and every one of them. It’s gonna be tough to sleep at night. You worry about test results thinking ‘I hope everyone comes back negative.’ It’s always in the back of your mind.”
“These guys are putting themselves at risk for the love of the game. We are playing through some tough times. We’re doing the best we can.”
The Nationals have officially added Josh Harrison to the 40-man roster taking that to 39-players, and he will join the Nats who made a corresponding move and optioned catcher Raudy Read to the Alternative Training Site in Fredericksburg, Virginia. No dollar figures were disclosed on Harrison’s deal. He signed previously with the Phillies on a Minor League deal and asked for his release last week. According to our sources, general manager Mike Rizzo originally offered him a minor league deal but then was told he would only take a Major League deal after rumors serviced of several suitors.
Given that the Nats have a 30-man active roster, they have about 10 days remaining before they have to cut two more players to get to twenty-eight players giving the team some time to assess who should stay and time to evaluate Harrison. Last year with the Tigers, Harrison struggled to make good contact with 1 HR in 36 games while slashing an abysmal slash of .175/.218/.263/.480. Rizzo had the chance to add Brian Dozier and Matt Adams in the last week and did not sign either, but went for Harrison who he has coveted before.
The Nats will start their NLCS star Anibal Sanchez tonight to get the Nats back in the win column. He will face a regular from the Blue Jays 2019 rotation in righty Trent Thornton who was an Astros 5th round pick in 2015 from the University of North Carolina. The Astros traded Thornton to the Blue Jays for Aledmys Diaz. Last year Thornton pitched to a 4.84 ERA.
Even though there are no fans in the stands, some promotions will continue. Tonight is Marine Corp night to honor them as the first branch of the armed forces that the Nats will honor in an ongoing tribute this season.
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 6:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN; MLB App out-of-market
Nats Radio: 106.7 The Fan and via the MLB app
Line-ups subject to change without notice:
- Trea Turner SS
- Adam Eaton RF
- Starlin Castro 2B
- Howie Kendrick 1B
- Asdrúbal Cabrera 3B
- Eric Thames DH
- Kurt Suzuki C
- Victor Robles CF
- Michael A. Taylor LF
Aníbal Sánchez RHP
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 27, 2020