When the Miami Marlins blanked the Baltimore Orioles 4-0 at Camden Yards last night, it was with 17 players who were not on the roster the last time the team played on July 26.
The reason, of course, was the coronavirus - more than half the team's 30-man roster had been place don injured reserve list because of being infected by Covid-19. Seven of the replacement players never had played for the Marlins before, and two of them had never played in the major leagues. Marlins manager Don Mattingly said that he'd never met some of the players who took the field for him last night.
Some perspective from the Wall Street Journal:
"Baseball knew that Covid-19 cases were inevitable when it decided to pursue a season amid the pandemic with teams traveling between cities rather than living in a self-contained bubble. The idea was to push on despite the virus by quickly removing infected players from the population and plugging in new bodies who hadn’t been exposed as needed.
"To allow for this jigsaw puzzle, each team established a second location where they can stash 30 players to serve as something resembling a farm system with the minor-league campaign canceled.
"The extra pool, however, wasn’t designed for a situation like the one the Marlins faced, in which nearly two-thirds of the roster disappeared at once. It’s a scenario that risked not just sidelining the Marlins, but shutting down the entire sport altogether."
Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball's commissioner, has said that he reserves the right to shut down the sport if the situation gets to the point where competitive integrity is threatened.