photo: Giovanny Gallegos via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
Hicks opts out of season
The St. Louis Cardinals announced on Monday, July 13 that flame throwing reliever Jordan Hicks is opting out of the 2020 season. Hicks is the first, and so far, the only Cardinal to do so.
Hicks, a Type 1 diabetic, had Tommy John surgery in late June, 2019. The 23-year old pitched in 29 games in 2019 and had 14 saves before the injury ended his season. When Hicks reported to 2020 Summer Camp, he was already throwing bullpens, including an extended bullpen on the first day of camp. Hicks was not expected to be ready for Opening Day. According to manager Mike Shildt, his 2020 debut was not likely to come until at least mid-August. However, after Hicks suffered shoulder inflammation in camp, his return was pushed out indefinitely, putting his ability to contribute in 2020 in question.
The decision to opt out came as no surprise to the Cardinals, as President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak told reporters that conversations with Hicks and his agent had been ongoing concerning what was best for the pitcher. The Cardinals have expressed support for Hicks’ decision, and it is expected that Hicks will continue his rehab and be fully healthy and ready to pitch for the 2021 season.
For further details:
Summer Camp news
RHP Alex Reyes made his first appearance in camp, joining the team’s workouts on Saturday. The reason for Reyes’ absence was not initially revealed, but Reyes told reporters on his return that he was tested positive for COVID-19 during the intake process and spent two weeks in quarantine in St. Louis.
Shildt stated that Reyes will not be available for Opening Day, but it is too soon to determine whether the right-hander will be assigned to Springfield and/or go on the injured list. Reyes will need time to throw to live hitters to make up for the camp time he missed.
RHP Giovanny Gallegos has finally arrived in St. Louis and has cleared the testing process to enable him to participate in camp. The right-hander was able to throw while still in Mexico, so it remains a possibility that he will be available for Opening Day. The determination will be made after he throws to live hitters and his recovery can be assessed.
LHP Genesis Cabrera, like Reyes, was cleared to return to camp and joined the workouts on Saturday. Cabrera will not be available for Opening Day and will need to throw to live hitters, likely in Springfield.
Live streaming of intrasquad games began this past week. FOX Sports Midwest play by play announcer Dan McLaughlin has been calling the games solo. The final intrasquad game will be streamed Tuesday evening.
The Cardinals will play an exhibition game against the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday, July 22 at Busch Stadium at 3:05 pm. The game will be televised on FOX Sports Midwest and on KMOX Radio.
For summaries of intrasquad games as well as daily comments from camp by manager Mike Shildt, selected players and several times per week, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak, check the “Summer Camp News” thread at The Cardinal Nation’s free forum.
Cardinals 2020 Broadcast schedule is out
The Cardinals announced on Tuesday that every regular season game will be televised as well as be available on audio on KMOX and Cardinals.com.
FOX Sports Midwest will televise 55 of the 60. Announcers for the televised games will remain the same as 2019, with the exception of Tim McCarver, who has opted out of broadcasting this season. Dan McLaughlin will continue as the play by play voice and will be joined at various times throughout the season by color analysts Brad Thompson, Jim Edmonds, and Rick Horton. FOX Sports Midwest pre- and post-game shows will also be available as usual with Al Hrabosky and Rick Ankiel available as analysts along with hosts Scott Warman, Jim Hayes, and Erica Weston. McLaughlin and the color analysts will not travel for road games but will call the games via a live feed in St. Louis.
The five remaining regular season games will be televised either by ESPN or FOX, including the “Field of Dreams” game which will be played in Iowa against the Chicago White Sox on August 13.
On radio, John Rooney and Mike Shannon will be on the call for home games, and Rooney and Rick Horton for road games. The road games will be called via a live feed in St. Louis.
Spanish language broadcasts will also be available for all home games, with Polo Ascensio and Bengie Molina in the booth.
For further details:
Trade and Acquisition Rumors
There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.
- 7/13 The Cardinals place RHP Jordan Hicks on the restricted list
- 7/18 The Cardinals place RHP Giovanny Gallegos and RHP Ricardo Sanchez on the injured list
- 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, made the decision to opt out this past week and was placed on the restricted list.
- 3B Elehuris Montero has tested positive for COVID-19. He is asymptomatic and has been placed in isolation until he tests negative twice at least 24 hours apart. Only then will he be allowed to return to camp.
- UT Brad Miller (heel soreness) has not participated in Summer Camp games since Thursday, July 9. Miller is considered day to day and it is unknown whether he will be ready for opening day on July 24.
- RHP Alex Reyes and LHP Genesis Cabrera, both of whom previously tested positive for COVID-19, have been cleared to return to camp. It is unlikely either pitcher will be ready for game action when the season starts on Friday, July 24.
- RHP Ricardo Sanchez, who had previously tested positive for COVID-19, has been cleared to return to camp. Sanchez is scheduled to be at the alternate camp in Springfield, but the team has placed him on the 10 day injured list. No reason was given for the placement.
- RHP Giovanny Gallegos has arrived in St. Louis and has begun participating in workouts. It is unknown whether Gallegos will be ready to pitch when the season starts, though he has been throwing. The Cardinals placed him on the injured list on Saturday. No reason was specified.
Summer Camp continues at Busch Stadium and will culminate with an exhibition game against the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday, July 22 in St. Louis. Scheduled pitchers for the Cardinals are Miles Mikolas and Carlos Martinez.
The regular season will begin on Friday, July 24 at home in a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Jack Flaherty will start the opener, with Adam Wainwright taking the ball in Game 2.
By this Friday, the Cardinals must make their final roster cuts to reduce the number of active players to 30. Decisions on the rotation and bullpen roles will be communicated in the next few days.
Members of The Cardinal Nation can read Brian Walton’s assessment of the tradeoffs needed to get to 30 and how he predicts it will play out this week.
After an off day on Monday, July 27, the Cardinals will begin a three-city road trip. They will play a two-game series against the Twins in Minnesota. The team will travel to Milwaukee for three contests starting on Friday the 31st against the Brewers and conclude with a pair in Detroit. The three-man taxi squad will be utilized on road trips this season.
The full 60-game schedule can be found here.
Blast from the Past
The annual MLB All-Star Game was scheduled to take place at Dodger Stadium on July 14 but was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first All-Star Game was held on July 6, 1933 and has been an annual event except for 1945 (due to World War II travel restrictions) and 2020.
This week’s Blast from the Past takes a look at All-Star Games held in St. Louis, five in total. The first was played on July 9, 1940 in Sportsman’s Park, hosted by the St. Louis Cardinals. The National League defeated the American League by the score of 4-0.
Cardinals in the NL starting lineup were 1B Johnny Mize and CF Terry Moore. No Cardinal pitchers were on the roster and the team had no reserve players. Mize went 0-for-2 and Moore was 0-for-3.
Eight years later, on July 14, 1948, the game returned to St. Louis. The St. Louis Browns, who shared Sportsman’s Park, were the hosts. Cardinals selected were Red Schoendienst, Harry Breechen, Marty Marion, Stan Musial, and Enos Slaughter. Schoendienst, Musial, and Slaughter were in the starting lineup. Neither Marion nor Breechen appeared. Musial went 2-for-4, including a two-run home run in the first inning. Slaughter went 1-for-2 with an RBI. Schoendienst was 0-for-4.
The only All-Star for the Browns was Al Zarilla. The AL beat the NL 5-2.
On July 9, 1957, the Cardinals were again the hosts, this time in Busch Stadium, the new name for Sportsman’s Park after the team was purchased by August Busch in 1954. Stan Musial was in the starting lineup, with catcher Hal Smith and OF Wally Moon in reserve. Pitcher Larry Jackson was also on the roster. Musial went 1-for-3 with a double. Moon made a pinch hitting appearance. Jackson pitched the 7th and 8th innings and gave up a hit and a walk. The AL won the game 6-5.
The All-Star Game returned to St. Louis on July 12, 1966. The game was played in the brand new downtown Busch Stadium, which opened that season. The NL won the game 2-1 over the AL in 10 innings. Catcher Tim McCarver and OF Curt Flood were on the roster but neither was in the starting lineup. Bob Gibson was the only Cardinal pitcher and he did not appear. McCarver had one at-bat in the 10th inning and hit a single to right field. Flood made a pinch hitting appearance in the third inning and grounded out.
It took over 40 years for the All-Star Game to return to St. Louis, on July 14, 2009. The game featured Cardinal starters Albert Pujols at 1B and Yadier Molina behind the plate. The team had no reserves. Ryan Franklin was the sole St. Louis pitcher on the roster. Pujols was 0-for-3. Molina hit an RBI single to CF in the second inning. Franklin pitched a scoreless third inning with no hits and no walks.
When the All-Star Game will return to St. Louis is unknown. The 2021 All-Star Game will be held in Atlanta. The Dodgers will host the game in 2022 to offset the missed opportunity in 2020. No venues have been chosen for 2023-2025, but the 2026 site has already been set. It will be held in Philadelphia as a celebration of the 250th anniversary of American Independence.
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