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Mets Morning News: No new positive Mets coronavirus tests

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Your Saturday morning dose of New York Mets and MLB news, notes, and links.

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New York Mets v Miami Marlins Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Meet the Mets

This morning, Jon Heyman reported that no new Mets have tested positive for coronavirus beyond the original two, which is very good news for the team.

Last night, the Mets arrived in New York to undergo further COVID testing. The original two who tested positive remained in Miami.

The choice to have the Mets fly back to New York was baffling for some, noting the difference between the Mets’ protocol and what was done for the Reds, who also had a positive test. Steve Gelbs clarified the reasoning behind the decision, which included a determination that flying back to New York posed less risk than checking into a hotel in Miami, given the rate of spread in both cities. Every person on the flight back to NY had to wear an N95 respirator mask for the entire flight. The players were also given assigned seats and required to stay six feet apart.

The Mets, who seemed to be as strict about following protocols as any team, are demonstrating what a challenge this MLB season really is, writes David Lennon of Newsday.

Bradford William Davis of the New York Daily News writes that positive tests for a team like the Mets who adhered so strictly to protocols are a problem for baseball’s viability this season.

Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post notes the irony of coronavirus impacting one of New York’s baseball teams on the eve of the Subway Series, which was postponed it its entirety yesterday.

Around the National League East

The Braves steamrolled the Phillies 11-2, knocking out Aaron Nola in the third inning. Travis d’Arnaud collected three hits and Marcell Ozuna hit two home runs in the rout. The two combined for seven RBIs.

The Phillies made a trade with the Red Sox to help fortify their struggling bullpen. They acquired relievers Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree from Boston in exchange for pitchers Nick Pivetta and Connor Seabold. The Phillies also received cash considerations in the trade.

The Phillies also acquired David Hale, who was DFA’d by the Yankees, in exchange for minor league relief pitcher Addison Russ, who was sent to the Yankees’ alternate training site.

The Marlins beat the Nationals 3-2 in a game featuring the return of Miguel Rojas, who had two hits and drove in all three runs for Miami.

Stephen Strasburg saw a nerve specialist on Thursday about his carpel tunnel. Surgery is currently an option on the table, but a decision has not yet been made.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported that 50 Marlins business operations employees who had been furloughed were informed that their positions were either eliminated or consolidated. Their jobs won’t be coming back.

Around Major League Baseball

Yesterday, the Yankees furloughed around 60 employees on their player development staff. Jeff Passan of ESPN warns that with the contraction of the minor leagues, these cuts to player development are a sign of things to come.

The few days off this weekend may be welcome for the Yankees, who had to place both Gleyber Torres and James Paxton on the injured list with a left quad and hamstring strain and a left forearm flexor strain, respectively.

MLB’s TV ratings are up this season over last season and that rise is spearheaded by women and younger fans.

“It’s the most excruciating emotional, physical pain you can ever imagine, being accused of something you didn’t do,” said Nationals catching prospect Tres Barrera—the latest player to be suspended for Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone (DHCMT)—to The Athletic. “It’s unbearable. You can’t eat. You can’t sleep. All I wonder is how, where, when? No one can answer those questions for me. When was it? Where is it? Where is it coming from? No one knows. And yet, I’m being punished for it.” Players like Barrera who insist they were wrongly suspended for the drug are fighting for changes in MLB’s drug policy to establish a minimum threshold for the metabolite that would need to appear in a player’s urine for him to be suspended.

COVID-19 cases are on the rise again in Seoul metropolitan area. The CDC is considering raising the nationwide social distancing to Level 3, which would automatically shut down the KBO.

The Giants have released Yolmer Sanchez.

Yesterday at Amazin’ Avenue

Steve Sypa continued his “Oh Yeah, That Guy!” series with Vincente Lupo—a Venezuelan international signing in 2010 who was released by the Mets in 2016 after not living up to his prospect hype.

Joe Sokolowski brought us This Week in Mets Quotes, featuring Luis Rojas saying that the Mets were going to “stay in our bubble” in Miami, which apparently did not work out so well.

This Date in Mets History

In a game that arguably cracks the list for one of the best in franchise history, on August 22, 2006, Carlos Delgado hit his 400th career home run in the form of a grand slam in the second inning off Jeff Weaver and Carlos Beltran went on to hit a walk-off two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth, as the Mets beat the Cardinals 8-7.