More positive, inconclusive COVID-19 tests on Cardinals’ players, staff force pause in schedule until Tuesday

By Rob Rains

The Cardinals learned Saturday they have had four positive tests for COVID-19 in the last two days and four inconclusive tests, involving either players or staff members.

Despite those results, the Cardinals and Major League Baseball announced that they will resume their schedule on Tuesday night in Detroit after their weekend series in Milwaukee was postponed.

John Mozeliak, president of baseball operations, said in a zoom call that the four positive tests affected three players and one staff member. The four inconclusive tests involve one player and three staff members.

The team hopes to learn Sunday whether the inconclusive tests are either positive or negative. All of the affected players and staff members have been asymptomatic, Mozeliak said.

He said two of those who tested positive have been sent back to their homes via car, and two more likely will return to St. Louis. All of the other members of the team’s traveling party will remain isolated in their hotel rooms in Milwaukee on Sunday.

The team is now scheduled to fly to Detroit on Monday, work out at Comerica Park later that day and open a four-game series against the Tigers on Tuesday, which will include a doubleheader featuring seven-inning games on Wednesday.

The Cardinals had originally been scheduled to play in Detroit on Monday and Tuesday with the Tigers then coming to St. Louis for games on Wednesday and Thursday. MLB said in a press release that the Cardinals and Tigers will each be the home team for two of the games in Detroit.

“We’re just buying time,” Mozeliak said, “and that gives you an advantage to help understand where it is, who it is affecting and hopefully we can manage through that.”

After playing Wednesday night in Minneapolis and then flying to Milwaukee, the Cardinals had a day off on Thursday before being isolated in their hotel rooms beginning on Friday morning.

“Our team has not been together since we flew in here on Wednesday night,” Mozeliak said. “We feel like we have a fairly good idea of isolation and understanding of where this has really evolved to, so we are very optimistic that we can get back on the field.

“We feel confident that by the time we get to Detroit on Monday that we will have control of this. From a league standpoint and the Cardinals standpoint we feel comfortable moving forward.”

The team has not released the identity of any of the players or the staff member who tested positive.

Everyone in the traveling party underwent two separate tests on Friday and another round of tests on Saturday. The team first learned on Friday that two players had tested positive as a result of tests administered on Wednesday when the team was in Minneapolis.

The team expects to bring up several players from the satellite camp in Springfield to augment the roster before the series begins in Detroit.

Mozeliak said he was not pleased with attempts by some to try to determine how and where the players contracted the virus.

“I think it’s incredible how people are just looking to find this answer as if to create this blame game,” he said. “I find that rather sickening and annoying. We’re in a pandemic. The likelihood of where someone could have gotten this could be anywhere from a grocery store to a bar and everywhere in between.

“Trying to determine that I don’t think is very helpful. Even if I knew I probably would not say it publicly because I wouldn’t want somebody mentioned with that label.”

For the players who have had to stay in their hotel rooms since Friday morning, boredom is starting to set in. Austin Gomber posted a photo on Twitter on Saturday looking out his hotel room window with the comment, “I wonder what it feels like out there.”

Mozeliak said he had exchanged text messages with several players, but the topic of deciding to forgo playing the rest of this season did not come up. One veteran player on the Brewers, outfielder Lorenzo Cain, decided on Saturday to opt-out of the season.

The Cardinals will have to make up the three games postponed this weekend at some point this season. They are scheduled to come back to Milwaukee for a three-game series from Sept. 14-16, then end the season with four games at home against the Brewers between Sept. 24-27.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

Photo by AP courtesy of KSDK Sports

About Rob Rains 177 Articles
Rob Rains , who runs STLSportsPage.com was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2017, St. Louis Media HOF 2018, and is a former National League beat writer for USA Today’s Baseball Weekly. For three years he covered the Cardinals for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat until its demise in the 1980s. Rains was awarded the Freedom Forum Grant to teach Journalism for a year at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State. Now based in St. Louis, Rains is often a guest on Frank Cusumano’s Pressbox Show on 590AM and has been writing books, magazine articles, and covers the Cardinals and Blues for STLSportsPage.com. He has written or co-written more than 30 books, most on baseball, including autobiographies or biographies of Ozzie Smith, Jack Buck, and Red Schoendienst. Rains volunteers his time helping run Rainbows for Kids, a 501 (c)(3) charity for families of children with cancer in the Greater St. Louis Area.