Commissioner Rob Manfred said he believes that MLB's health protocols are working, despite an outbreak of COVID-19 among one of the teams, the Miami Marlins.
"We built protocols anticipating that we would have positive tests at some point during the season," Manfred said Monday in an interview on MLB Network. "The protocols were built to allow us to play through those positives. We believe the protocols are adequate to keep our players safe."
The Marlins had at least 11 players and two coaches test positive over the past few days, forcing the postponement of both Monday's and Tuesday's home games against the Baltimore Orioles. The team remained in Philadelphia, where it played over the weekend, and was retested on Monday. Those results are expected late Monday night. Pending the results, the Marlins are scheduled to resume play Wednesday in Baltimore.
"I don't put this in the nightmare category," Manfred said. "It's not a positive thing, but I don't see it as a nightmare. ... That's why we have the expanded rosters. That's why we have the pool of additional players."
The league is looking into where the outbreak began. League sources indicate that it's possible it came about during a charter flight from Atlanta after the Marlins played an exhibition game there Wednesday.
Manfred was asked what it would take to shut down the league -- at least for a short period of time.
"A team losing a number of players, making it completely noncompetitive, would be something we would have to address and have to think about making a change," Manfred said. "Our first concern is the health of the players and their families. And making sure we do everything possible to minimize the spread of the virus to our employees."
Manfred said the league hopes to learn from the situation with the Marlins and adjust protocols accordingly. He indicated that the decision was made to play their game Sunday against the Phillies after testing, temperature checks and contact tracing. The Phillies were tested Monday as well. Their game against the New York Yankees was postponed until results are known.
"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 said.