Testing problems cast doubt on viability of MLB season, days after baseball’s return

Nationals catcher Yan Gomes walks down the first base line during summer camp workouts at Nationals Park. /Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post

By Dave Sheinin | The Washington Post

As if Major League Baseball’s degree of difficulty in attempting to launch a 2020 season this summer amid a global pandemic was not already high enough, a critical apparatus underpinning the endeavor — the novel coronavirus testing program designed to prevent large outbreaks — has shown signs of failing just days into the opening of training camps.

Related: Diamondbacks to open 2020 season July 24 in San Diego, assuming all goes well from here

The Washington Nationals and Houston Astros, last year’s World Series participants, both were forced to cancel workouts Monday after having failed to receive results from coronavirus tests administered Friday — which they had expected to receive by Sunday. The St. Louis Cardinals also canceled their workout later Monday over testing delays, and the Oakland Athletics were waiting on test results before deciding whether to work out Monday evening.

Combined with a steady trickle of players testing positive and others who have decided to opt out of playing in 2020, the testing problems served to underscore the fragility of baseball’s plans to start its season July 23 and contest a 60-game schedule and a full postseason before Halloween.

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