August 21, 2020 | 10:38pm
The Nos. 4 and 7 trains will take the entire weekend off from converging, at least in a baseball sense.
A day after a Mets position player and coach tested positive for COVID-19 — postponing Thursday’s game in Miami and the Subway Series opener on Friday — MLB announced the Yankees and Mets won’t play at all this weekend, for precautionary reasons and to allow for additional testing and contact tracing.
The first installment of the Subway Series was supposed to run through Sunday at Citi Field. The teams are scheduled to meet in The Bronx next weekend, at which time doubleheaders could be played, but the Yankees and Mets also have a mutual off day on Monday that could potentially accommodate one or two games. But with Mets players not allowed into Citi Field through the weekend, it’s unclear whether team brass would want to resume play without first holding a workout. The Mets and Yankees also have mutual off days on Sept. 3 and 14.
According to a statement released by the team, the Mets returned to New York on Thursday night and underwent testing. Further testing was conducted Friday. The player and coach who tested positive remained in Miami, in isolation or quarantine as did any individuals who were identified as a close contact to the infected.
An industry source indicated the Mets returned to New York rather than remain in Miami because of concern about checking into another hotel in a city that has been a coronavirus epicenter. The team used a larger jet than normal for the flight home, with players separated from each other by at least 6 feet and instructed to wear masks throughout, without even an exception for food or drink. The decision to return home came after consultation with MLB and the team’s medical staff.
The Reds, Cardinals and Marlins are among the other teams in recent weeks that have dealt with players testing positive. The Cardinals, because of the outbreak’s severity, went two weeks without a game before resuming last weekend. The Reds, who dealt with one positive, had three postponed games over a four-day span.
With the Marlins scheduled to begin a three-game series at Citi Field on Tuesday, it’s conceivable Thursday’s postponement could be made up as part of a doubleheader in the coming days.
For the Mets, the postponements occurred at a less than ideal time. Not only had the Mets begun to break out of their offensive slump, they had won three straight games in Miami and were headed home to face a banged-up Yankees team. But the postponements will allow manager Luis Rojas to realign and perhaps bolster a pitching rotation besieged by uncertainty.
Among the possibilities, depending on when the games are rescheduled, is Jacob deGrom could potentially face the Yankees twice. The Mets ace, after missing a start last week with neck stiffness, had pitched Wednesday in Miami, leaving him removed from the weekend’s Subway Series rotation.
If the Mets and Yankees were rescheduled for Monday, deGrom could potentially get the ball on his normal rest and then return to the mound five days later at Yankee Stadium.
The down time could also benefit Michael Wacha and David Peterson, both of whom are on the injured list with shoulder inflammation. Wacha likely would have thrown a bullpen session on Friday if the Mets were active, perhaps his final step before rejoining the rotation.