SARASOTA, Florida—The Orioles weren’t in the Ed Smith Stadium complex on Friday because the facility was closed for a deep cleaning.
Executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias said that he expects details early next week on how clubs should proceed during this time of uncertainty. On Thursday, Major League Baseball announced that it would delay the start of the regular season by at least two weeks and end spring training games because of the coronavirus emergency.
Elias said players and staff would stay in Sarasota for now. Besides Ed Smith Stadium, the minor league facility at Twin Lakes was also closed.
“We are very intent on keeping everyone here until told otherwise,” Elias said in a conference call Friday. “Preventing unnecessary travel, keeping everyone in the area, keeping everyone in close contact with us is the best way to go.”
Elias said that no one in the organization has been tested for the coronavirus.
“We haven’t had anything yet that would prompt us to proceed with a test for the COVID-19 at this point,” he said.
Elias said he doesn’t know when the season will open. A two-week delay would put the opener on April 9, when the Orioles would be playing the fourth game of a series with the Yankees in New York. He knows the situation is fluid and could easily change.
“The league office is working very hard on figuring out when and where is the right time to reactivate the sport,” he said. “But, right now, we’ve just got to do what’s in the best interest of public health, but also the players and people who work for the teams.”
The Orioles won’t be bringing in a nearby opponent for a game. The Pittsburgh Pirates train 20 minutes away in Bradenton. Elias said that the team has enough players on its spring training roster for competition. Players also can be brought in from Twin Lakes.
The team has 54 players on the spring training roster. Elias said that the team is in a holding pattern on transactions.
Minor League Baseball also announced on Thursday that its schedule, which was to begin April 9, is being delayed. College and high school baseball are also on on hold. As a result, the team’s scouting and draft activities are limited, Elias said.
“This has happened really fast for everybody,” he said. “Just yesterday we were loading up on a bus to go to Fort Myers, and all of a sudden, we weren’t.
“Everyone feels secure here in knowing that we’ve got a big support system in terms of medical personnel and everything you can imagine, and from what I understand, the players understand that this is the best place that they can be right now.”
Elias on Mancini: Elias has been in contact with the family of Trey Mancini, who had surgery on Thursday to remove a malignant tumor from his colon.
“We’re going to have a lot more information on Trey, the outlook and the timeline soon, and we will certainly provide all that information as soon as it becomes available and fully understood,” he said.
“But I can say that he’s doing really well. His procedure, and where he’s at right now, is about as positive as possible … his spirits and his physical feeling right now. We’ll just keep our fingers crossed and take this as it comes. He’s doing really well and the operation went very well.”