Virus-stricken Marlins resume season with 18 new players

FILE - In this July 12, 2020, file photo, Miami Marlins' Jonathan Villar, left, Jesus Aguilar, center, and Jon Berti wait to bat during a baseball scrimmage at Marlins Park in Miami. Marlins CEO Derek Jeter blamed the team's coronavirus outbreak on a collective false sense of security that made players lax about social distancing and wearing masks. Infected were 21 members of the team's traveling party, including at least 18 players. None is seriously ill, Jeter said Monday, and he expects all to return this season.  (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)
FILE - In this July 12, 2020, file photo, Miami Marlins' Jonathan Villar, left, Jesus Aguilar, center, and Jon Berti wait to bat during a baseball scrimmage at Marlins Park in Miami. Marlins CEO Derek Jeter blamed the team's coronavirus outbreak on a collective false sense of security that made players lax about social distancing and wearing masks. Infected were 21 members of the team's traveling party, including at least 18 players. None is seriously ill, Jeter said Monday, and he expects all to return this season. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

MIAMI – Scrambling for replacements following a coronavirus outbreak, the Miami Marlins added a Moran, a Morin, two pitchers named Josh Smith and a former Olympic medalist in speedskating.

Also among the 18 players joining the Marlins' 30-man roster as they resumed their virus-disrupted season in Baltimore on Tuesday night were outfielder Monte Harrison and right-hander Jose Guzman, highly regarded prospects reaching the majors for the first time.

Another newcomer was pitcher Richard Bleier, returning to his former ballpark after being acquired from the Orioles in a trade over the weekend.

“We’re just excited to get back on the field,” president of baseball operations Michael Hill said.

After the Marlins waited nine days to play following the outbreak, the start of the game was pushed back nearly an hour when their latest test results were delayed.

Starting pitchers Sandy Alcantara and Caleb Smith joined Jose Urena on the injured list, leaving the Marlins without three-fifths of their rotation. Eight of their 12 opening-day relievers were also on the IL, as was shortstop Miguel Rojas.

With more than half the team needing to be replaced, newcomers included infielder Eddy Alvarez a 30-year-old Miami native who won a silver medal in speedskating at the 2014 Winter Olympics and had yet to play in the majors.

“A tremendous story on stick-to-it-iveness,” Hill said.