St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of August 3-8

photo: John Mozeliak via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Though the St. Louis Cardinals did not play baseball this past week, there is plenty of news to report. An attempt to restart the season ended in more players and staff infected. The postponed games count is up to 13. Our history feature highlights some of the many one-game-and-done performers in team history.



Day-by-day recap of the past week

Monday, August 3, 2020

The St. Louis Cardinals announced that six of the seven players tested positive for COVID-19 gave permission for their names to be released to the public.  They are RHPs Junior Fernandez and Kodi Whitley, SS Paul DeJong, SS Edmundo Sosa, 1B Rangel Ravelo and C Yadier Molina.  Everyday starters Molina and DeJong issued short statements regarding their positive tests.  The team remained quarantined in their Milwaukee hotel until cleared to return to St. Louis.

The four-game series between the Cardinals and the Tigers that was scheduled to be played on Tuesday through Thursday was postponed.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The Cardinals announced staff changes at the major league level and at the Cardinals Alternate Training site. These changes were due to positive COVID-19 tests of six major league staff members (though not all are coaches).

Minor League hitting coordinator Russ Steinhorn was transferred from the Alternate Training Site to the major league staff.

Assistant Minor League hitting coordinator Joey Hawkins was added to the coaching staff of the Alternate Training Site.

Player Development and Performance Manager Emile Wiebe was added to the Alternate Training Site to assist in the interim.

The Cardinals further announced that the six positive players noted above plus RHP Carlos Martinez were placed on the injured list.

The Cardinals added four players to the major league roster from the Alternate Training Site.  RHPs Genesis Cabrera and Alex Reyes were recalled.  RHP Roel Ramirez and 2B Max Schrock were added to the 40-man roster.

The Cardinals activated IF Brad Miller off the 10-day injured list.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

After two days of all negative tests, the Cardinals were cleared by MLB to leave Milwaukee and return to St. Louis.  The team left Milwaukee by plane shortly before noon.

A workout at Busch Stadium was held from 2:00 to 4:00 on Wednesday.

The Cardinals announced that Kwan-Hyun Kim will replace Carlos Martinez in the rotation.

MLB announced that the “Field of Dreams” game between the Cardinals and the White Sox scheduled for Thursday, August 13 will be postponed until 2021.  It was later announced that the Thursday, August 13 game in Iowa was moved to Friday night in Chicago. Also, the Cardinals will not participate in the game in 2021, but will be replaced by the Yankees, who were originally scheduled to participate before the schedule changes for 2020 dictated in-division play only.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

The Cardinals held a second workout including a simulated game at Busch Stadium in preparation for the weekend series against the Cubs.

MLB announced the rescheduling of the Brewers series and the Tigers series which had been postponed.   The Brewers series will be scheduled to be played as doubleheaders on previously scheduled dates between the two teams.  Those dates are September 14 at Miller Park, September 16 at Miller Park, and September 25 at Busch Stadium.  The Brewers will be the home team for the first game of the doubleheader in St. Louis.

The series against the Tigers will be scheduled as two doubleheaders on August 13 in Detroit and September 10 in St. Louis.

Friday, August 7, 2020

The Cardinals announced three additional positive COVID-19 tests beyond the 13 previously announced.  Results from tests taken in St. Louis the previous two days revealed two more players tested positive and one staff member.  The players were identified as RHP Ryan Helsley and OF Austin Dean after permission was granted by the players.  The staff member was not named.

As a result of the additional positive tests, the three-game weekend series against the Cubs was postponed.  The Cardinals total of positive individuals increased to nine players and seven staff members.

Players are isolated at their homes until further notice.  Further testing will be done daily.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

No additional news was announced.  Testing of all players and staff continues on a daily basis.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

In an interview on KMOX Radio, manager Mike Shildt revealed that some of the players and staff who are positive for COVID-19 have dealt with various symptoms of the virus.  A few, he said, had to receive treatment at the emergency room, but none were hospitalized.  PBO John Mozeliak confirmed to the media on Sunday night that one player and one staff member sought treatment at the ER.

Mozeliak also commented about the frustration of seeing shaming of people who caught the virus by members of the public.

Mozeliak told members of the media on Sunday night that players have been told to stay at home and not go out except for traveling to the ballpark for daily drive-through testing.  Players will continue to test and results from Sunday and Monday will determine where they go from there.

An additional positive test, that of OF Lane Thomas, was confirmed on Sunday.  Thomas was identified through contact tracing as a potential positive. Prior tests were inconclusive and Thomas is the roommate of Ryan Helsley, who was confirmed positive on Friday.

Jose Molina shared on social media that his brother Yadier was to be tested to potentially clear him for returning to play.  Players who are positive must test negative twice, 24 hours apart, and also take an antibody test and pass a cardiac evaluation.

Cardinals brace for lengthy delay

The Cardinals breathed a sigh of relief after three days of negative tests in Milwaukee cleared the team to return home to St. Louis on Wednesday.  The jubilation was short-lived.

On Thursday night the Cardinals received word of positive results from tests taken after the team returned home.  Workouts had been conducted on Wednesday and Thursday to prepare for the upcoming series against the Cubs over the weekend.

On Friday, the team announced two additional players and one staff member had tested positive.  It is believed the individuals were already infected prior to flying home from Milwaukee on Wednesday but had not yet tested positive.  The team was together in travel and over two days for workouts, leaving open the possibility for additional exposures.

Players and staff are in quarantine and are being tested on a daily basis.  It is unclear how long the quarantine will last and when or if the additional postponed games will be made up.

The team identified the two players as RHP Ryan Helsley and OF Austin Dean.  The staff member has not been identified. An additional positive was reported on Sunday night, OF Lane Thomas.  That brings the total to 17.

The series against the Cubs was postponed as well as the Monday through Wednesday series against the Pirates.  On Sunday Night, PBO Mozeliak told the media that there is no timetable for the team to get back on the field.

NL Central Standings

Team W L Pct GB
Chicago 10 3 0.769
Milwaukee 6 7 0.462 4
Cincinnati 7 9 0.438 4.5
St. Louis 2 3 0.400 4
Pittsburgh 3 13 0.188 8.5

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions 

  • 8/4 The Cardinals placed RHPs Carlos Martinez, Junior Fernandez and Kodi Whitley, SSs Paul DeJong and Edmundo Sosa, and C Yadier Molina on the injured list.
  • 8/4 The Cardinals activated 2B Brad Miller from the injured list.
  • 8/5 The Cardinals placed 1B Rangel Ravelo on the injured list.
  • 8/5 The Cardinals selected the contracts of RHP Roel Ramirez and 2B Max Schrock from the Cardinals Alternate Training Site.
  • 8/5 The Cardinals recalled LHP Genesis Cabrera and RHP Alex Reyes from the Cardinals Alternate Training Site.
  • 8/6 The Cardinals invited non-roster RHPs Ryan Meisinger and Jesus Cruz to spring training.

Injury Report

  • RHP John Brebbia underwent Tommy John surgery on June 1. He will miss the entire 2020 season.
  • RHP Jordan Hicks (Tommy John surgery) has opted out of the 2020 season. Hicks, a Type 1 diabetic, was placed on the restricted list.
  • 3B Brad Miller has been activated from the 10-day injured list.
  • RHP Miles Mikolas (right forearm strain) will have surgery and will miss the remainder of the season.
  • Six players, RHPs Junior Fernandez and Kodi Whitley, SSs Paul DeJong and Edmundo Sosa, 1B Rangel Ravelo, and C Yadier Molina have been placed on the injured list. Positive COVID-19 tests.  The players will isolate for at least eight days and will be eligible to return after two negative tests 24 hours apart.
  • RHP Carlos Martinez has been placed on the injured list. No reason given.
  • RHP Ryan Helsley and OFs Austin Dean and Lane Thomas tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend. It is expected they will be placed on the injured list in the upcoming days.

Looking Ahead

Due to a continuing outbreak of COVID-19 among players and staff, the Cardinals have not played a game since the Twins series in Minnesota on July 28-29.  A total of 17 players and staff have tested positive for COVID-19.

No baseball activities have taken place since Thursday.  Players are isolated at home until further notice and are tested daily.

The series against the Pittsburgh Pirates scheduled to begin on Monday has been postponed.  The next scheduled game is a doubleheader on Thursday against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.  This is a rescheduling of two games of the previously postponed four-game series.

The other two Tigers games are scheduled to be made up in a doubleheader on September 10 at Busch Stadium. The postponed Brewers series will be made up in doubleheaders on September 14 and 16 at Miller Park and September 25 at Busch Stadium.

The future of play for the Cardinals in 2020 remains unclear at this time.  The Cardinals have missed 13 games thus far with more possibly being postponed. It has been acknowledged by Mozeliak as being mathematically difficult to get all remaining games played with the time remaining in the season.

Blast from the Past

The Cardinals were scheduled to play the Chicago White Sox on Thursday, August 13 in the “Field of Dreams’ game in Dyersville, Iowa.  The game was postponed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 outbreak among Cardinals players and staff.

The genesis of this game was the movie Field of Dreams, starring Kevin Costner, released in 1989. In that movie was a character named Moonlight Graham, played by the late Burt Lancaster.  Graham was an actual major league baseball player who appeared in one inning of one major league game as a right fielder for the New York Giants on June 29, 1905.  This was Graham’s only major league appearance.  He went on to become a medical doctor in Minnesota and passed away on August 25, 1965.

This week’s Blast from the Past looks at a handful of “one and done” players who made one appearance in one game for the Cardinals over the history of the franchise.

Farmer Burns was born on June 2, 1876 in Ashtabula, Ohio.  Burns’ major league baseball career consisted of one inning of pitching for the Cardinals on July 6, 1901 in a game against the Phillies. Burns walked one and gave up one run on two hits for a career ERA of 9.00.

Alfredo “Al” Cabrera was a shortstop who played in one game for the Cardinals on May 16, 1913 against the Brooklyn Dodgers.  Cabrera was notable as the first Spanish-born major leaguer and the first player from the continent of Africa.  Cabrera was born on May 11, 1881 in the Canary Islands off the Northwest coast of Africa.  Cabrera went 0-for-2 that day and never played another major league game.

Memo Luna

Coonie Blank (Frank Ignatz Blank) was a catcher who played in one game for the Cardinals on August 15, 1909.  Blank was born in St. Louis on October 18, 1892.  Blank had two at bats with no hits against the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Guillermo “Memo” Luna was a left-handed pitcher who pitched in one game with the Cardinals on April 20, 1954.  Luna was born in Mexico City on June 25, 1930.  Against the Cincinnati Reds, Luna faced six batters in 2/3 of an inning.  He gave up two runs on two hits and walked two. The Cardinals lost that game and starter Luna was tagged with the loss in the only major league game in which he played.

Herb Gorman was born on December 19, 1924.  Gorman played 11 seasons in the minor leagues and one at bat in the majors. As a pinch hitter for pitcher Willard Schmidt, he grounded out to second base on April 19, 1952.  This was Gorman’s only major league appearance.  The next year, while playing in a minor league game, he experienced chest pains and died of a heart attack while leaving the field.

Chip Marshall was a catcher who appeared in one game for the Cardinals on June 14, 1941, against the Brooklyn Dodgers at Sportsman’s Park.  Marshall replaced catcher Gus Mancuso as a pinch runner on first base.  Marshall stayed in the game at catcher for the top of the ninth inning.  Marshall, like Moonlight Graham, never got a major league at bat.

These are just a sampling of over two dozen “one and done” players to don the Cardinal uniform.  Many of these players were pitchers.  Like Moonlight Graham, they were able to say they played major league baseball, if only for an instant of time.  We like to say of short termers that they got their “cup of coffee,” but these players unfortunately only tasted a sip.


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