A few hours before the Friday trade deadline, the Phillies shuttered their training facility in Clearwater, Fla., and postponed two minor-league games scheduled to be played there because of multiple positive COVID-19 tests.
Neither the Class A Clearwater Threshers nor the Phillies’ rookie-ball team in the Florida Complex League will play Friday. In a statement, the Threshers said a 6:30 p.m. game at BayCare Ballpark was being postponed “to allow for additional testing and contact tracing” in accordance with health and safety protocols.
The Threshers have not announced a makeup date for the game or whether Saturday night’s game against Fort Myers will be played. They are in the midst of a 12-game homestand that runs through Aug. 8.
Several of the Phillies’ top prospects play for Clearwater, including right-hander Mick Abel, center fielder Johan Rojas, and infielders Luis Garcia and Casey Martin. Rojas hasn’t played since July 23 and was recently placed on the injured list for an undisclosed reason. Abel, who is regarded as largely untouchable in trade talks, hasn’t pitched since July 21 but remains on the active roster.
Phillies minor-league director Josh Bonifay didn’t immediately respond Friday to a request to comment.
The outbreak comes 13 months after the Phillies had six players and five staff members test positive in Clearwater.