St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of June 29 – July 5

Cardinals report positive COVID-19 tests

As of Sunday, the Cardinals have reported four individuals who tested positive for COVID-19.  Three are LHP pitchers Genesis Cabrera and Ricardo Sanchez, and 3B Elehuris Montero.  The three are asymptomatic and are hoped to return in “five-days-ish,” per manager Mike Shildt.

Genesis Cabrera (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

Pursuant to the agreement reached between MLB and MLBPA, the team can only identify those individuals as having tested positive who have granted permission to do so.  One of the four who has tested positive remains unidentified, and is not a player.

Other players are awaiting test results and therefore not at camp.  These include Carlos Martinez and Ivan Herrera, who traveled to St Louis on an MLB charter flight from the Dominican Republic along with Cabrera and Sanchez. Pitchers Alex Reyes and Junior Fernandez have not yet appeared on the field for workouts.

RHP Giovanny Gallegos has not yet appeared in St. Louis.  The reason has not been explained other than it is “travel related,” according to President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak.  Gallegos would be traveling from Mexico, his home country.

Under the MLB health protocols, players are to be tested for COVID-19 every other day with temperature checks at least twice daily.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.


  • 7/1 The Cardinals added 3B Elehuris Montero to the 60-man pool as the 45th player invited to Summer Camp.

Injury Report

  • RHP John Brebbia underwent Tommy John surgery on June 1. He was placed on the 60-day injured list and will miss the entire 2020 season.
  • LHP Brett Cecil (hamstring) was to be evaluated when camp convened on July 1. There has been no report as yet on Cecil’s readiness for the season.
  • RHP Jordan Hicks (Tommy John surgery) will not be ready to be activated when the season opens. He remains on the 60 day injured list. The right hander is throwing bullpens as he continues his rehab.
  • Two players who were banged up at the close of Spring Camp on March 12, LHP Andrew Miller (“lack of feel”) and 1B Paul Goldschmidt (wrist), have said they are now 100 percent.
  • LHP Genesis Cabrera has tested positive for COVID-19. He is reported to be asymptomatic and has been placed in isolation.  Cabrera will be required to test negative twice within a span of 24 hours to be able to return to camp.
  • LHP Ricardo Sanchez has tested positive for COVID-19. He is reported to be asymptomatic and has been placed in isolation.  Sanchez will be required to test negative twice within a span of 24 hours to be able to return to camp.
  • 3B Elehuris Montero has tested positive for COVID-19. He is reported to be asymptomatic and has been placed in isolation.  Montero will be required to test negative twice within a span of 24 hours to be able to return to camp.

As manager Mike Shildt and selected players meet with the media after daily practices, summaries of their comments are posted on The Cardinal Nation’s free message board. (A userid is not required to read forum comments.)

St. Louis “Summer Camp” news

Looking Ahead

Cardinals “Summer Camp” continues.  Workouts officially began on Friday, July 3.  45 players were invited, but not all are currently on the field and working out.  At least three players have tested positive for COVID-19 and several more are awaiting positive test results before they can officially participate.  One player, Giovanny Gallegos, has not reported due to travel issues from his home country, Mexico.

A series of eight intrasquad games are scheduled to begin on Wednesday, July 8.  There will be no exhibition games with outside teams played during camp.

An alternate camp, Summer Camp South, will be held at Hammons Field in Springfield for those players in the 60-man pool not assigned to St. Louis.  This camp will begin on July 14.

St. Louis’ 60-game regular season is expected to start on July 24 at Busch Stadium against Pittsburgh.  The official schedule is expected to be released on Monday, July 6 at 5:00 p.m. CT.

Full details on the various camps can be found here:

Mozeilak and Shildt Lay out Cardinals Summer Camp Details and More

Blast from the Past

Last week’s Blast from the Past included a look at several players who hit for the cycle in the history of the Cardinals franchise.  This week we will recall several pitchers who were leaders in the category of ERA for the season.

In team history, nine pitchers ended a season with the best ERA in the National League.  One pitcher accomplished this feat twice in his career.

Bill Doak

The ERA statistic did not come into vogue until around 1900.  It was devised by Henry Chadwick, the inventor of the box score.  Prior to that time, pitchers pitched complete games and their record of wins and losses was used to determine their effectiveness.  With the early 1900s came the advent of the relief pitcher separate from a starting pitcher and thus the win-loss record became less relied upon as a measure.  Earned run average became more popular as a result.

The first Cardinal to earn the title of “ERA champion” in the National League was Bill Doak, who did it twice in his career, in 1914 and again in 1921.  Doak’s ERA those two seasons were 1.72 and 2.59, respectively.

Mort Cooper (Getty Images)

During the World War II years, Cardinals Mort Cooper and Max Lanier garnered this honor.  Cooper finished 1942 with an ERA of 1.78 and the next season, Lanier won the title at 1.94.

Two more St. Louis pitchers led the NL in ERA in the 1940s.  In 1946, Howie Pollet posted an ERA of 2.10 and two years later, Harry Brecheen followed with a 2.24 ERA.

Twenty years passed before another Cardinal became the National League ERA leader.  In 1968, Bob Gibson not only led the NL with an ERA of 1.12 but also he set the major league record that remains unbroken more than 50 years later.

Fast forward to 1976, when starter John Denny led the NL in ERA at 2.52.  This achievement was accomplished on a team that finished in fifth place in the East Division with a record of 72-90.  Denny’s record was only 11-9 that season due to poor run support.

Even more striking was the performance of starter Joe Magrane in 1988.  Magrane won the NL ERA title with an ERA 2.18 in 24 starts despite a record of only 5-9.  He holds the distinction of the lowest win total of any ERA leader in a non-strike season.

Chris Carpenter (USA TODAY Sports)

The last Cardinal to win the NL ERA title was Chris Carpenter in 2009.  In 28 starts, Carpenter logged an ERA of 2.24 and a record of 17-4. But that was only good enough for a second-place finish in the Cy Young Award vote. He was topped by Tim Lincecum, who had an ERA of 2.48, and a record of 15-7 in 32 starts.  Carpenter’s teammate Adam Wainwright, who went 19-8 with a 2.63 ERA, came in third. There was a feeling the two St. Louis pitchers took votes from each other, as the top three garnered 100, 94, and 90 points respectively.

No Cardinal starting pitcher has topped Carpenter’s 2.24 ERA since 2009.  The closest was Adam Wainwright in 2014, with an ERA of 2.38.  The NL ERA leader that season was Clayton Kershaw at 1.77.

Hall of Famer Gibson still holds the major league single-season ERA record of 1.12, which may never be broken.  This is an accomplishment for which Cardinals fans can be surely be proud.

Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

Cardinals Minor League Single-Season Hit Leaders Since 1960

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