11:55am: The Cardinals issued a statement that the two tests which came back positive were performed Wednesday prior to their game with the Twins at Target Field in Minneapolis. The Cardinals have not been to Miller Park yet. That statement carries particular significance for the Twins and for the Indians, who used Target Field’s visiting clubhouse last night.
10:32am: The league announced that tonight’s game has been postponed. They’ll attempt to make it up as part of a doubleheader Sunday. MLB’s statements reads as follows:
Today’s scheduled game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals at Miller Park has been rescheduled as part of a traditional doubleheader on Sunday, August 2nd at 1:10 p.m. (CT). The rescheduling as a result of two positive COVID-19 tests in the Cardinals’ organization is consistent with protocols to allow enough time for additional testing and contact tracing to be conducted.
That statement seems to represent a departure from the protocols of just one week ago, when the Marlins/Phillies series was played to completion despite as many as seven known positive cases by Sunday. It’s surely frustrating for some fans to see, but it’s also in the best interest of completing a 2020 season to update protocols based on the efficacy of the standing regulations.
9:25am: The Athletic’s Mark Saxon reports that if the remainder of the Cardinals’ roster tests negative, the series against the Brewers could still begin tomorrow. It remains unclear how many players and/or staff members on the club have tested positive, however.
8:47am: Tonight’s game between the Brewers and Cardinals will be postponed due to positive Covid-19 tests within the Cardinals organization, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman (Twitter links). Joel Sherman of the New York Post adds that the Cardinals are isolating at their hotel and have not been to Miller Park.
It’s a discouraging development for the league, which had previously emphasized that the current outbreak within the sport was contained within the Marlins organization. Neither the Brewers nor the Cardinals have played (or will play) the Marlins in 2020 under the realigned schedule.
The number of positive tests will be telling, but it’s easy to imagine widespread implications. The Brewers will obviously be directly impacted, but they’re unlikely to be alone. The Cardinals just traveled to Milwaukee from Minneapolis, for instance, after completing a two-game set with the Twins. Minnesota hosted the Indians last night, meaning the Cleveland players and staff were in the same visitors clubhouse that had just hosted the Cardinals. Both the Twins and Indians, then, could feel the impact of the Cardinals’ tests even if none of the players on either roster have tested positive yet. The Pirates, whom the Cardinals played in their first series of the season, are also likely on alert after today’s news. The Cards had been scheduled to take on the Tigers next week, but as we saw with the Marlins, Phillies and their upcoming opponents, that now could be subject to change, too.
The hope, of course, is that the number of positives is minimal or even singular. Postponing a game based on a small number of positive tests would surely draw some criticism from fans, but the league would be justified in pointing to the prior Marlins outbreak as justification for not allowing a series to commence after a small number of players tested positive. The Marlins had four positives prior to that series, played the three games anyhow, and by yesterday were up to a staggering 17 positives among players and two on the coaching/training staff.