A view of Citi Field during an MLB game between...

A view of Citi Field during an MLB game between the Mets and the Nationals on Aug. 12. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The Mets' game against the Marlins in Miami on Thursday night and Friday night’s Subway Series opener against the Yankees were postponed on Thursday evening after two Mets personnel – one player and one staffer – tested positive for COVID-19, Major League Baseball announced less than an hour before Thursday’s scheduled first pitch.

The identity of the player and staffer who tested positive were not revealed.

The status of the other two scheduled games of this weekend’s Subway Series games at Citi Field was not addressed. The Mets and Yankees are scheduled to meet again at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 28-30.

MLB issued the following statement:

“Following two positive tests for COVID-19 in the New York Mets’ organization, tonight’s game between the Mets and Miami Marlins at Marlins Park, as well as tomorrow’s scheduled contest between the Mets and New York Yankees at Citi Field, have been postponed out of an abundance of caution and to allow for additional testing and contact tracing to be conducted. Major League Baseball will continue to provide updates as necessary.”

The Mets issued a statement on Thursday night. The team said the two personnel who tested positive and others who were “within close contact” of the two will remain in Miami to undergo testing. It was not immediately clear how many players and staffers were staying behind.

The rest of the traveling party was scheduled to fly back to New York on Thursday night, “with recommended safety precautions in place . . . (the team will) conduct testing with the entire traveling party,” the Mets’ statement said.

The Mets have been in Miami since Sunday night, when they flew from Philadelphia after a weekend series with the Phillies.

Florida had been hit hard by COVID-19 in recent months, but the outbreak has been easing. On Thursday, the Florida Department of Health said the statewide testing positivity rate was 6.8 percent. That’s the lowest it’s been in the state since it was 5.4 percent on June 14.

The Mets are the fifth team to have games postponed in part because of their own positive COVID-19 tests.

- The Marlins missed eight days after 18 players and three staffers tested positive. Miami returned on Aug. 4;

- The Phillies missed seven days while they were tested following a series against the Marlins. Two Phillies staffers tested positive. The Phillies returned on Aug. 5;

- The Cardinals missed 17 days after nine players and six staff members tested positive. The Cardinals returned on Saturday;

- The Reds missed four days after one player tested positive. The Reds returned on Wednesday.

The Mets had two players – pitchers Brad Brach and Jared Hughes – start the season on the COVID-19 injured list after they tested positive during intake screening before the season. Both have since returned to the roster.

The Mets have also seen two players opt out after the season began because of what they said were COVID-19 fears.

Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes left the team (initially without explanation) on Aug. 2 after playing in eight games and hitting .161. Cespedes cited COVID-19 fears, but it’s also possible he was upset about dwindling at-bats since his contract was laced with incentives based on playing time.

Injured pitcher Marcus Stroman, who was working his way back from a torn calf muscle, opted out on Aug. 10 – after he accrued enough service time to become a free agent following the season.

MLB has adjusted its schedule multiple times because of the outbreaks. Teams are playing multiple seven-inning doubleheaders in an attempt to have all teams play a 60-game regular season that is scheduled to end on Sept. 27.

If the Mets and Yankees are unable to play Saturday and/or Sunday, they could reschedule some of this weekend’s series as doubleheaders in the Bronx during the Aug. 28-30 series.

MLB also made a series of changes to its on- and off-field protocols after the Marlins outbreak in an attempt to stem the spread of the disease.

With Tim Healey


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