Blue Jays manager Montoyo says weekend series against Phillies is postponed

Blue Jays manager Montoyo says weekend series against Phillies is postponed

In a regular season that has had its share of uncertainty, hurdles and challenges, the Toronto Blue Jays were dealt another curveball Thursday when their weekend series in Philadelphia was postponed after the Phillies reported that two staff members had tested positive for COVID-19.

Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo confirmed the postponement on a video call before Thursday afternoon’s game in Washington. Montoyo said the team plans to stay in the U.S. capital until new travel plans can be finalized.

“We’ve got to deal with it, it is what it is,” Montoyo said. “Hopefully MLB works through this. We’ve got games coming up. But that’s all I know right now.”

Montoyo said the Blue Jays will ask the Nationals if they can continue to work out at their stadium this week. The postponement will give Toronto a four-day break ahead of a three-game series starting Tuesday in Atlanta.

“In this clubhouse we’ve got a lot of focused guys here,” said Blue Jays reliever Jordan Romano. “We’re just really trying to focus on what we can control and not letting the outside distractions get in the way of us performing.”

Canada’s lone MLB team has had to adjust plans on a regular basis in recent weeks.

In late June, several Blue Jays players and staff members at the team’s spring-training facility in Dunedin, Fla., reportedly tested positive for the virus. That left the team shorthanded for part of its summer training camp in Toronto.

The federal government shut down a team proposal to play home games at Rogers Centre because of fears about teams travelling back and forth to the U.S., where COVID-19 numbers are high.

That decision set off a search to find a home ballpark. After coming close to securing a big-league facility, the team eventually settled on Buffalo, but necessary upgrades at Sahlen Field have pushed the start date to Aug. 11.

Now after a decent opening week to the truncated 60-game campaign, the Blue Jays must deal with another speed bump. The team hopes the unexpected layoff doesn’t stifle players’ routines or affect the club’s rhythm.

“All you can do is stay positive,” Montoyo said. “That’s all you can do because negative stuff doesn’t help anybody.”

Earlier Thursday, the Phillies announced that all activity at Citizens Bank Park has been cancelled until further notice.

Tests conducted a day earlier returned a positive result for a member of the coaching staff and a member of the home clubhouse staff, the Phillies said. All players tested negative.

The Blue Jays’ original plan was to take a two-hour bus ride to Philadelphia on Thursday night and hold an optional workout Friday. A doubleheader was set for Saturday ahead of Sunday’s series finale.

“They’re handling it great,” Montoyo said of his players. “I’m proud of this team because it hasn’t been easy.”

Romano, a native of Markham, Ont., said the layoff shouldn’t pose much of a problem.

“I consider it a smaller challenge,” he said. “I think we can still hopefully practise, pitchers throw bullpens. I think we would still be ready to roll after this four-day break.”

The Phillies haven’t played since Monday’s discovery of a coronavirus outbreak among the Miami Marlins, who played a season-opening series in Philadelphia last weekend.

The Toronto-Philadelphia series was originally set to begin Friday, but Major League Baseball pushed the opener back a day.

MLB said Wednesday that the Toronto-Philadelphia series would go ahead after Phillies players and on-field staff tested negative for COVID-19 for a second straight day. But late Thursday afternoon, MLB confirmed the games would be postponed “out of an abundance of caution.”

“Major League Baseball will co-ordinate with health experts and the Major League Baseball Players Association in planning for the Phillies’ resumption of play, and will provide further scheduling updates as necessary,” MLB said.

With files from The Associated Press.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 30, 2020.

Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press

Blue Jays

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the chief medical officer of health, receive flu shot. Photo via Government of Alberta
COVID-19: One more death in central zone

Ponoka County on province’s watchlist

Many rural municipalities were concerned about a proposed reduction to their industrial revenues, but Alberta’s Municipal Affairs minister has come up with an alternative solution. (Photo contributed)
Province and rural municipalities agree on a plan to support Alberta’s energy industry

Creating new wells or pipelines would result in a three year ‘tax holiday’

Last year’s production of Forever Plaid. File photo
Klaglahachie Fine Arts Society postpones play

The board of the Klaglahachie Fine Arts Society announced in a press… Continue reading

The influenza vaccine will be available at no cost starting Monday in Alberta. “The more that we can avoid influenza-related tests, emergency visits and hospitalizations, the stronger our system will be to support those with COVID-19 and all other health needs," says Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer of health. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Hinshaw urges Albertans to get flu shot as COVID cases jump by 332

Alberta’s central zone now has 132 active COVID-19 cases

In this photo provided by Shannon Kiss, smoke from the CalWood Fire billows, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, as seen from Gunbarrel, Colo. (Shannon Kiss via AP)
‘First guys out:’ Western Canadian air tanker fleet busy despite drop in wildfires

CEO believes wildfires have become more dangerous in recent years as people live closer to where they start

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

robbery
UPDATE: Suspect identified in early morning shooting

Rimbey RCMP had responded to a complaint of an armed robbery at the Bluffton City General Store

Executive Director of Agape Kate Halas (left) receives $1000 from Sgt. Eric Christensen (right) on behalf of Agape. Photo/ Shaela Dansereau.
Former Wetaskiwin Peace Officer wins provincial award; gives back to Wetaskiwin community

Eric Christensen has won the Alberta Association of Community Peace Officers Award of Excellence.

Agriculture Minister Devin Dreeshen (Alberta government photo)
Big boost for Alberta college agriculture research

The $2-million agreement to benefit Lethbridge College’s applied research team

Grant and Barbara Howse, in quarantine in Invermere. Mike Turner photo
Denied entry into U.S., Canadian couple still forced to quarantine for 2 weeks

The rules around crossing the U.S. border led to a bizarre situation for an Invermere couple

Employee Sophia Lovink shows off a bag of merchandise in Toronto on Thursday, June 11, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Canada gets C-average grade on 2nd year of cannabis legalization

Cannabis Council of Canada releases report card on federal government and legalization

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada-USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. Restrictions on non-essential travel between Canada and the United States are being extended until at least Nov. 21. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
Non-essential travel restrictions at Canada-U.S. border extended to at least Nov. 21

The restrictions do not apply to those providing essential services in either country

(The Canadian Perss)
Banff wolves have lower survival rate due to hunting, trapping outside park boundary

Researchers looked at 72 radio-collared wolves in the national park from 1987 to August 2019

Most Read