Blue Jays manager Montoyo says weekend series against Phillies is postponed

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

File photo
Alberta’s central zone has 670 active cases

301 new cases identified Sunday

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer reports 25th COVID-19 death

415 new cases identified provincially Saturday

Alberta Health reported two new COVID-19 deaths in Red Deer Friday. (Image courtesy CDC)
Two more deaths linked to Olymel outbreak in Red Deer

Province reported 356 additional COVID-19 cases Friday

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta’s budget promises more help for COVID-19 with a hard deficit

Annual spending on debt interest is closing in on $3 billion

Alberta reported an additional 399 cases of COVID-19 Thursday, on 9,217 tests, for a test positivity rate of 4.3 per cent. (Image courtesy CDC)
Red Deer down to 562 active COVID-19 cases

8 new COVID-19 deaths, 399 additional COVID-19 cases

Bookings for COVID-19 vaccines for people age 75 or older start Wednesday. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Updated: Delays for seniors booking for vaccine appointments

By 9:20 a.m. Wednesday, 4,500 seniors had booked their appointments

A cross-country skier glides along the banks of the Ottawa River in Ottawa on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Canadians across the country can look forward to a mild spring peppered with the odd winter flashback throughout the first part of the season, according to predictions from one prominent national forecaster. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Mild spring with some wintry blasts predicted for most of Canada: Weather Network

Weather Network is forecasting a slower than average start to spring in British Columbia

AstraZeneca’s vaccines are ready for use at the vaccination center in Apolda, Germany, Sunday, Feb.28, 2021. (Michael Reichel/dpa via AP)
Feds hoping for AstraZeneca shots this week as Pfizer-BioNTech prepare next delivery

The first of those doses could start to arrive in Canada as early as Wednesday

People line up outside a vaccine clinic as seniors wait to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton Alta, on Friday February 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta Health Services head sorry for glitches in vaccine booking system for seniors

AHS president said technical issues have been fixed and a virtual waiting room is in place

Vandalism is shown on Alberta NDP MLA Janis Irwin’s constituency office in Edmonton in this handout photo on Saturday, February 27, 2021. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney quickly condemned vandalism at an Opposition legislature member Janis Irwin’s Edmonton office after the MLA posted pictures showing her front window spray-painted with the words “Antifa Liar.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Janis Irwin *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Alberta Premier slams vandalism after slur painted on MLA’s office window

Edmonton MLA Janis Irwin posted pictures showing the front window spray-painted with the words ‘Antifa Liar’

A helicopter flies past a mountain near McBride, B.C., on Saturday January 30, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Avalanche warning for backcountry users in North and South Rockies

Avalanche Canada is urging backcountry users to always check their regional avalanche forecasts

Supporters pray outside court in Stony Plain, Alta., on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, as a trial date was set for Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church. He is charged with holding Sunday services in violation of Alberta’s COVID-19 rules and with breaking conditions of his bail release. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Trial date for jailed Alberta pastor charged with breaking COVID-19 health orders

The court says it will reconvene with lawyers on March 5 for a case management plan by teleconference

A pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
Canada approves use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

The country joins more than a dozen others in giving the shot the green light

Most Read