Following an additional positive test for COVID-19 by a St. Louis Cardinals player, tonight’s (Friday, August 7) scheduled game between the Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium has been postponed to allow for additional testing and to complete the contact tracing process. Major League Baseball will continue to provide updates as they are available.
Brian Walton’s take
This brings the team’s confirmed cases to eight players and six staff members. At this point, the identity of the player and the timing of infection are unknown. The team had gone three days – since Tuesday – with no new tests, but the virus’ incubation period seems to vary.
When Cardinals President of Baseball Operations addresses the media later today (expected), this article will be updated.
Clearly, the entire weekend series is in jeopardy, if not much more.
Update no. 1
#stlcards PBO John Mozeliak will brief the media at 5:00 p.m. on the latest COVID-19 positive test and tonight's Cubs game cancellation.
— Brian Walton (@B_Walton) August 7, 2020
According to Mark Saxon of The Athletic, the positive test is from a player who has been with the team all season (as opposed to one of the new additions from Springfield).
Update no. 2
Multiple media reports have the entire weekend series postponed with the Cubs returning to Chicago.
The Cardinals have delayed their media briefing indefinitely.
Update no. 3
REMAINDER OF CARDINALS-CUBS SERIES POSTPONED
The Office of the Commissioner has been informed that a St. Louis Cardinals staff member and two players tested positive from samples collected over the last two days. Out of an abundance of caution, and to ensure that all infected Cardinal players and staff members have been identified, the games between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on Saturday, August 8th and Sunday, August 9th have been postponed. Major League Baseball will continue to provide updates as they become available.
John Mozeliak remarks
Late Friday evening, the Cardinals PBO met with the media via Zoom. My summary of his comments follow. Most are responses to specific questions.
A lot of frustration and disappointment. Three more individuals tested positive with both Wednesday’s and Thursday’s results via saliva tests sent to MLB lab. Ryan Helsley had a mild fever on Thursday. The other two, Austin Dean and a staff member, are asymptomatic. Learned late last night (he said 9:30 at one point and 10 at another) that they probably were going to be unable to play today. Suspected the call was not good news.
Will take a pause for the weekend to understand if they can get it under control. Entire group will self-isolate and quarantine on Saturday and Sunday. This includes travel party and anyone accessing the club house on Thursday. Don’t know future other than three games lost. Take it one day at a time.
Any decision for the next week and season not solely my decision. Stops and starts are difficult. Emotionally pulled. Everyone wants to play and be safe. The goal line keeps moving. Answer to the future is “I just don’t know.” Wants Friday and Saturday results before deciding about Pittsburgh. Haven’t asked about number of days of negative tests before being allowed to play.
From contact tracing, the three likely were infected in Milwaukee. Experts approved the team’s travel home. No one knows. The contact tracing went back even further than the workout day in Milwaukee. Incubation time in one case was greater than eight days, but in another just 36 hours. Both are outliers, broke rule of thumb.
“Mathematically it would seem a challenge (to play all 60 games)” but has not thought about that today and not discussed with MLB.
No discussions with players about opting out. They are frustrated by starts and stops. Want to get back to playing.
His understanding of why MLB can proceed after two days of negative tests when the population has to quarantine for 14 days is that the general public does not have access to daily testing.
Information gathering and best practices from them and Miami may benefit other teams, but too late for us.
(In hindsight) waiting two more days, then maybe wouldn’t have repeated but baseball is a daily sport.
Does not know if another larger outbreak is just ahead (like before). Hopes not.
For him personally, highs and lows. Mostly lows. Lots of energy and enthusiasm yesterday.
Will get today’s results tomorrow and will test again tomorrow. Those results will decide future. Will reconvene with media on Sunday. No update expected Saturday.
Not aware of any family members affected. Good news.
Media wants to know what tomorrow will look like. He would gladly say if he knew. Were ahead of ourselves leaving Milwaukee. Don’t know where we are headed. Like in Milwaukee, asking everyone for patience.
Brian Walton’s take
The total team count of positive tests is nine players and seven staff members. The number of consecutive games postponed is 10, seven of which have been rescheduled.
The loss of Helsley, the presumptive new closer with Kwang-Hyun Kim put into the rotation for Carlos Martinez, has to be a major concern. Others who could step into a share of the ninth inning include Andrew Miller, John Gant and Giovanny Gallegos.
Possible replacements from Springfield for Helsley could include non-40-man pitchers Rob Kaminsky and Seth Elledge. The club could create an opening by placing pitcher Miles Mikolas on the 45-day injured list.
Dean joins fellow reserve infielder/corner outfielder Rangel Ravelo among the COVID stricken. Outfielder Justin Williams, a member of the 40-man roster, could be the next man up. If the Cardinals decide to go in that direction, first baseman John Nogowski would require a roster addition.
As of yet, no replacements have been named, however.
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