While the Cardinals are still going to explore trade deadline opportunities, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak told The Athletic’s Mark Saxon and other reporters that his club faces something of a unique roster crunch due to the coronavirus outbreak that ravaged the Cards earlier this month. “I think that’s the biggest issue at hand for us, sort of navigating the health of the club vs. what potentially we could do in a trade,” Mozeliak said. “Candidly, the timing of it [the deadline] is not ideal for us, as we start to unwind people coming off of COVID back onto the roster….What it is to say is we haven’t been a team together, with the exception of the first five days together.”
With a whopping seven players still to be activated from the COVID-19 injured list, 40-man roster considerations will start to become a mounting concern for the Cardinals in the coming days, and certainly not everyone will be back before Monday’s trade deadline. One potential wrinkle, Mozeliak said, is that “other teams might be dealing with roster crunches, too, as they navigate Aug. 31,” and thus these rivals might not be as eager to make claims on any players the Cards might be forced to expose to waivers.
More from around the National League…
- Manny Pina left tonight’s game with a right knee injury, the Brewers announced. Pina suffered the injury while getting back to first base on a pickoff attempt during the second inning, and was replaced by Omar Narvaez. The initial outlook isn’t good, as manager Craig Counsell told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and other reporters that Pina is on crutches and is having trouble putting weight on his right leg. Pina is in his fifth year in Milwaukee and has been hitting respectably well, bringing a .231/.318/.410 slash line (roughly his career average) over 44 plate appearances coming into today’s doubleheader with the Reds. Pina’s steady production has been helpful given Narvaez’s struggles this season, so Milwaukee would be particularly hampered behind the plate if Pina has to go on the injured list. Jacob Nottingham and David Freitas are the only catchers with MLB experience at the Brewers’ alternate training site.
- Kevin Gausman allowed two runs on three hits and two walks over 4 2/3 innings in the Giants’ 2-0 loss to the Dodgers today, and with the trade deadline looming on Monday, Gausman might well have thrown his last pitch in the black and orange…at least in 2020. Gausman told Kerry Crowley of the Bay Area News Group and other reporters that he would be open to re-signing with the Giants in free agency this winter, even if the club moves him prior to the deadline. His preference, of course, is to not be dealt at all, though the right-hander’s overall quality work this season and rental player status makes him one of the trade deadline’s top candidates to be sent elsewhere.
- Madison Bumgarner will throw a simulated game Saturday in the next step of his rehab plan, though Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo told reporters (including the Arizona Republic’s Mark Faller) that the southpaw is still over a week away from returning to action. Assuming all goes well in the sim game, Lovullo said Bumgarner would still need another 7-10 days to ramp up for activation from the 10-day injured list. Bumgarner has been out of action since August 10 due to a back strain.