By Rob Rains
In a year when nothing is normal, why should the baseball schedule be any different?
Major-League Baseball released the shortened, delayed 60-game schedule on Monday and for the Cardinals, it means 10 games against each of their four NL Central opponents and a total of 20 games against teams from the American League Central.
Breaking down those numbers, however, shows that of the 10 games the Cardinals will play against the Cubs, seven will be at Wrigley Field and only three will be in St. Louis. They also will make two trips to Milwaukee, for a total of six games, while the Brewers will come to St. Louis only once, for the final four games of the season from Sept. 24-27.
The Cardinals will open the season on Friday night July 24, against the Pirates at Busch Stadium.
The Cubs only visit to St. Louis will be Aug. 7-9.
One of baseball’s marque games this season will feature the Cardinals playing the White Sox at the Field of Dreams site in Iowa on Aug. 13, replacing the Yankees, who were originally scheduled to be the opponent for the White Sox.
Mike Matheny will make his return to Busch Stadium on Aug. 24 when the Royals arrive for a three-game series. The Cardinals will go to Kansas City on Sept. 21, also for a three-game series.
“At least we know who to focus on and where to allocate resources,” said John Mozeliak, the president of baseball operations. “From a fans standpoint it’s different because you are not seeing the teams from the East or West but I think everybody just wants to see some baseball.”
The Cardinals are still hopeful that at some point this season they will be allowed to have a limited number of fans in the stands at Busch, but that is not yet certain.
In other Cardinals news, the team joined other major-league teams in canceling their workout on Monday because of delays in getting results from their latest round of coronavirus testing.
Mozeliak explained that the delay was caused by the fourth of July holiday and problems with the courier service getting the tests to the MLB lab in Utah for processing.
The Cardinals at first moved back their scheduled morning workout to 6 p.m. in hopes that they would receive the results in time to clear players to practice, but then decided to just go ahead and cancel it.
“Our players, and staff, were not comfortable that they had not received the results of their Friday tests,” Mozeliak said. “These guys want to be in a safe environment. Really that’s in essence what we all want.”
Mozeliak said the team was anticipating the test results later Monday and that the team will be able to work out as scheduled on Tuesday.
The team had scheduled 19 workouts at Busch Stadium leading up to the start of the season. There was one scheduled day off in that plan and it was not immediately known if the Cardinals will use the canceled workout from Monday as that day off.
While most of the test results involve the second round of testing of players who already passed their intake tests and were cleared to practice, Mozeliak said some intake tests were included in the batch of delayed results.
The team has confirmed that three players tested positive for COVID-19: pitchers Genesis Cabrera and Ricardo Sanchez and third baseman Elehuris Montero.
The Cardinals are expected to add some players to their camp roster as early as Tuesday to fill in for the players who have either tested positive or not been cleared to work out. They also are expected to make an announcement this week about the additional players, mostly prospects, who will be reporting to the team’s satellite camp in Springfield.
That camp is currently scheduled to open on July 14.
Here is the complete Cardinals 2020 schedule:
July 24-26 vs Pittsburgh
July 28-29 at Minnesota
July 31-Aug. 2 at Milwaukee
Aug. 3-4 at Detroit
Aug. 5-6 vs Detroit
Aug. 7-9 vs Chicago (NL)
Aug. 10-12 vs Pittsburgh
Aug. 13 at Chicago (AL) Field of Dreams site
Aug. 15-16 at Chicago (AL)
Aug. 17-19 at Chicago (NL)
Aug. 20-23 vs Cincinnati
Aug. 24-26 vs Kansas City
Aug. 28-30 vs Cleveland
Aug. 31-Sept. 2 at Cincinnati
Sept. 4-7 at Chicago (NL)
Sept. 8-9 vs Minnesota
Sept. 11-13 vs Cincinnati
Sept. 14-16 at Milwaukee
Sept. 17-20 at Pittsburgh
Sept. 21-23 at Kansas City
Sept. 24-27 vs Milwaukee
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains
Photo by AP courtesy of KSDK Sports