Rockies pitcher Tim Collins becomes first MLB player to opt out following Marlins COVID-19 outbreak

By Jesse Reed
Feb 19, 2020; Scottsdale, Arizona, USA; Colorado Rockies pitcher Tim Collins (63) poses for a portrait on media day during spring training at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Tim Collins has opted out of the 2020 MLB season, becoming the first to do so after the Miami Marlins’ COVID-19 outbreak.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports broke the news on Monday.

The Rockies confirmed the news on Twitter.

Marlins COVID-19 outbreak includes 12 players, two coaches

Early Monday morning, the MLB’s worst fears were realized. The Marlins, who had multiple players test positive before Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies, had eight more players and two coaches test positive.

A full-blown outbreak was upon the league.

The aftermath of this outbreak is that the Marlins were stuck in Philadelphia and had to cancel their home opener against the Baltimore Orioles Monday night. Additionally, the Phillies had to cancel their Monday night game against the New York Yankees.

David Price calls out Rob Manfred

Following all this awful news, Los Angeles Dodgers star pitcher David Price chimed in on Twitter. He’s one of the more than dozen players who had already opted out before the season began.

In a pointed message, he called out MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred for not taking players’ health and safety seriously. He also made it clear that, in his mind, MLB never did and that’s why he opted out.

Also on Monday, Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Josh Lindblom chimed in with some thoughtful comments while expressing concern about playing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Among them, he said “someone might need to make a hard decision.”