photo: John Mozeliak via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
On Saturday morning, at least four additional positive test results among the St. Louis Cardinals have been received, national baseball reporter Craig Mish was the first to report . This is over and above the two players disclosed on Friday. The mix is three staff members and one player, per Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal.
National writer Jon Heyman was first to report that Saturday’s Cardinals at Milwaukee Brewers game has been postponed. No word yet on the status of Sunday’s doubleheader, which was created to make up Friday’s unplayed game.
In the bigger picture of the season overall, MLB’s national television partners have been told to have alternate programming ready next week in case games are not able to be played. This was reported by Keith Olbermann of ESPN on Friday evening.
MLB press release
Mid-afternoon on Saturday, Major League Baseball issued the following release. (I bolded the Cardinals-related section.)
The following is information on the recent positive test results in Major League Baseball:
· St. Louis Cardinals: After two Cardinals players tested positive, the entire team was tested in Milwaukee yesterday using a rapid COVID-19 test and saliva samples also were sent to an MLB laboratory. The rapid tests indicated that one additional Cardinals player and multiple staff members may be positive. The results from the MLB PCR saliva tests will not be available until later in the day. Based on the results of the rapid tests conducted in Milwaukee, tonight’s scheduled game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Cardinals at Miller Park has been postponed. We will provide additional updates as information becomes available.
· Philadelphia Phillies: The Phillies games this week had been postponed out of an abundance of caution because the team played the Miami Marlins, a Club which has experienced numerous COVID-19 positives. The last potential exposure of Phillies players and staff to the Marlins was on Sunday, July 26th, and no Phillies players have tested positive for COVID-19. While three Phillies staff members have since tested positive, it appears that two of those individuals’ tests were false positives, and it is unclear if the third individual contracted COVID-19 from Marlins players and staff based on the timing of the positive test. The Phillies are scheduled to resume play against the Yankees in New York on Monday (details below).
· Miami Marlins: The Marlins’ remaining players and staff have been quarantining in Philadelphia since Sunday and have not engaged in any baseball or other activities. The Marlins reported no new positive test results in yesterday’s collections. The current plan is for the Marlins to resume play against the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday in Baltimore (details below).
· Other Teams: There were no positives reported yesterday from any other MLB Club.
The Yankees and Phillies, who were originally scheduled to play four games against one another this past week, will play a four-game home-and-home series beginning with two games at Yankee Stadium on Monday, Aug. 3 and Tuesday, Aug. 4, followed by two games at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday, Aug. 5, and Thursday, Aug. 6. (all game times TBD).
The originally scheduled game between the Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on Thursday, Aug. 6, will be rescheduled as part of a doubleheader on Saturday, Aug. 8. The remainder of their four-game series on Friday and Sunday will remain as scheduled.
The Marlins and Orioles, who were originally scheduled to play four games against one another this past week, will play a four-game series this week in Baltimore from Tuesday, Aug. 4 through Thursday, Aug. 6, with one day including a doubleheader (all game times TBD) and the Marlins serving as the home team for two games.
In addition, the originally scheduled games between the Phillies and Marlins from August 4th-6th, as well as the originally scheduled game between the Yankees and Orioles on August 5th, will be rescheduled for a later date.
MLB will continue to follow a conservative approach in addressing positive test results because the health and safety of our players, employees and the public at large is paramount. We are in daily contact with the Players Association, public health officials, and our own medical experts in order to make decisions that will best protect individuals from being exposed to COVID-19. We will continue to provide further scheduling updates as necessary.
Also on Saturday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred shared his current insight with ESPN.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred believes the 2020 season can continue despite positive coronavirus tests that have led to the postponement of 17 games in 10 days. https://t.co/sJ8xlHpSMF pic.twitter.com/ImVIUJtoWt
— ESPN (@espn) August 1, 2020
Rather than each team issuing individual statements as was the case on Friday, MLB wrapped up all of its Saturday announcements together.
The Brewers will have to wait at least one more day for their home opener, with that scheduled Sunday double header vs. the Cardinals clearly in doubt.
At this point, no further news is expected from the Cardinals on Saturday. Unlike on Friday, when PBO John Mozeliak met with the media via Zoom, the club issued no communications on Saturday. This stance is not surprising given the still-incomplete testing information. The team remains sequestered in its Milwaukee hotel rooms.
With so many unanswered questions remaining, there can be no realistic expectation for when the Cardinals may be allowed to play again and if so, what their roster may look like.
If the Cardinals are allowed to leave Milwaukee and continue their road trip, their next stop is Detroit for a two-game series on Monday evening and Tuesday afternoon. They are scheduled to return home on Wednesday, also facing the Tigers.
My reading is that they are going to need some good fortune to get their 2020 season back on track anytime soon.
Saturday evening update
Not surprisingly, the Sunday twinbill will not be played at this time. That leaves three games with Milwaukee currently unscheduled.
No surprise, but both ends of the scheduled Cardinals-Brewers doubleheader Sunday have officially been postponed, sources tell ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 1, 2020
MLB formalized this in a release.
Due to additional testing and monitoring of the St. Louis Cardinals’ players and staff members, the Sunday doubleheader between the host Milwaukee Brewers and the Cardinals at Miller Park has been postponed. The Cardinals will play four games against the Tigers in Detroit from Tuesday-Thursday, including a Wednesday doubleheader. The Cardinals and Tigers will serve as the home Club for two games each at Comerica Park. The Brewers will play this week’s home-and-home series vs. the Chicago White Sox as scheduled.
Major League Baseball will continue to provide updates regarding its schedule.
John Mozeliak update
Saturday evening, the Cardinals President of Baseball Operations met with the media via Zoom. Following is my summary of his remarks.
There are four positive tests – three players and a staff member. All are asymptomatic. Two have been sent home via car. The other two will be transferred to St. Louis.
There are four more tests that are inconclusive – one player and three staff.
The team has not been together since Wednesday night arrival. Will remain isolated Sunday. Expects to have more test results Sunday and will travel to Detroit Monday. Will work out in Detroit Monday.
Monday game postponed until doubleheader Wednesday. Not playing Sunday-Monday is buying time. All four Tigers games will be in Detroit. Doesn’t make sense to fly back. Did not want to play DH on first day back (Tuesday). Playing all four in Detroit is a thank you to not inconvenience the Tigers. Not aware of other schedule changes ahead.
Finds it “sickening” and “annoying” that people are playing the blame game. If he knew the source of the outbreak, he would not share it because of the reaction toward that individual.
Additional players are joining the team, but no roster announcement until Monday.
The topic of Cardinals opting out hasn’t even come up in his text conversations with players.
Hopeful they can manage through. Asks that the fan base be patient.
Check out our COVID-19 Timeline here at The Cardinal Nation, with summaries and links to key virus-related news affecting the St. Louis Cardinals and Major League Baseball back to March.
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