Two more Major League Baseball players have opted out of the 2020 regular season due to coronavirus concerns. They are Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Lorenzo Cain of Valdosta, GA, and Miami Marlins second baseman Isan Diaz of Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
It is not known at this time whether or not Diaz is one of the 21 members of the Miami Marlins traveling party who have coronavirus. Miami has only played three games so far this season as their series against the Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Nationals were both postponed.
It appears the Marlins coronavirus cases started before the Major League Baseball season even stared. According to Dan Bernstein of The Sporting News, a Major League Baseball investigation determined that the Marlins came together at an Atlanta hotel bar while the Marlins were in Atlanta for pre-season action. According to Marly Rivera of ESPN, “there’s a lot of anger out there among players, particularly toward the Marlins, for how careless some of them have been.”
Diaz only batted .173 with five home runs and 23 runs batted in with the Marlins in 2019. In 179 at bats, he scored 17 runs, 31 hits, five doubles, two triples, five home runs, 23 runs batted in, 19 walks, a .259 on base percentage, .307 slugging percentage, 55 total bases, and one sacrifice fly. In two games this season, Diaz batted .222 in nine at bats.
Cain’s decision meanwhile came after the Milwaukee Brewers were to face the St. Louis Cardinals this weekend. The games never happened because of multiple coronavirus cases among the Cardinals.
Cain, a two-time all-star, batted .260 with 11 home runs and 48 runs batted in last season. In 562 at bats in 2019, he scored 75 runs, and collected 146 hits, 30 doubles, 18 stolen bases, 50 walks, a .325 on base percentage, .372 slugging percentage, 209 total bases and four sacrifice flies. In 18 at bats in 2020, Cain was batting an impressive .333, and expected to play a key role in the Brewers outfield again this season.