New York (AFP) - Major League Baseball is looking at shortening doubleheaders while the Miami Marlins have had another player test positive for COVID-19, according to multiple reports Thursday.
The lasted coronavirus positive for the Miami Marlins, as reported by ESPN citing unnamed sources, brings the team total to 17 players and two coaches over the past week.
MLB postponed all Marlins games on Monday, only the five days into a coronavirus delayed and shortened season, when the outbreak was first revealed.
The Marlins are idle through at least Sunday and there are doubts the team will be able to reopen its season as planned Tuesday at home against Philadelphia.
The Marlins, who have quarantined in Philadelphia since Monday, could face a quarantine under Miami regulations depending on their travel before returning to Florida.
MLB and its players union, according to ESPN and The Athletic, were looking at trimming doubleheaders, with owners and players being surveyed ahead of a change as early as the weekend if approved.
One idea was to trim both games in a twin bill to seven innings from the usual nine. Another was to play nine innings in the opener and only seven in the nightcap.
Rules have already been altered once extra innings are reached this season with the score deadlocked. A runner is placed on second base at the start for each team at bat to enhance the chances of scoring.
All teams are set to play 60 games through September 27 ahead of an expanded playoff with plans to crown a World Series champion in late October.
The Marlins' shutdown also wiped out Phillies games against the New York Yankees that would have required using the same locker rooms used by Miami players.
In the wake of the outbreak, MLB has reportedly mandated using surgical masks instead of cloth ones, encouraged players not to leave hotels in road cities except for games and required every club to travel with a virus protocol compliance officer to ensure rules are followed.