2:57pm: Indeed there are 13 total positives, including seven players, Jon Heyman of MLB Network tweets.
2:34pm: The Cards will not go to Detroit as scheduled, Mark Saxon of The Athletic tweets. It seems now they’ll ultimately scratch at least seven contests, he adds.
It also sounds as if the number of players on the roster with infections is still on the rise. Saxon tweets that at least eight members of the organization have tested positive, six of them players. And another source indicates that the number may actually be 13 total positives.
2:21pm: The Cardinals have yet to announce the results of Sunday’s round of Covid-19 testing, but Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets that the Tigers have already been informed that tomorrow’s scheduled game against the Cards in Detroit is “highly unlikely” to be played. Tonight’s game had already been postponed, and USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets that the entire Detroit/St. Louis series is in jeopardy. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that the Cardinals remain in Milwaukee, awaiting test results, despite the fact that they’d been previously scheduled to travel today.
Last Friday, a pair of Cardinals players tested positive for Covid-19, prompting the team’s scheduled game in Milwaukee to be postponed. The hope had been that a doubleheader could be played Sunday, but an additional Cardinals player and three staff members reportedly tested positive Saturday. Yesterday brought more positive results, although Goold notes in the aforementioned column that the club had some “inconclusive” test results. The precise numbers aren’t quite clear at present, but it seems at this point that the Cards’ slate of cases is smaller than the Marlins’ outbreak. That, of course, could continue to change as additional tests are performed. The Marlins had seven known cases on Sunday, July 26, but that had ballooned to 20 (18 players, two staffers) just four days later.
The origin of the Cardinals’ outbreak may well have been from players breaking health-and-safety protocols. Former big leaguer Jerry Hairston Jr. tweeted over the weekend that multiple Cardinals players visited a casino recently, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman tweets today that he’s heard the same: “at least a couple” Cardinals players did head to a casino in their downtime. MLB has since further tightened its protocols on leaving the team hotel, he adds, but it’s nonetheless a discouraging reminder that the league’s safety protocols still aren’t being (and perhaps never will be) adhered to in universal fashion. That said, it’s also curious to see Heyman indicate that protocols had previously “strongly discouraged” leaving the team hotel but now prohibit that practice. Making a change at this stage feels reactive rather than proactive — and it’d be perfectly fair to question why it took a second outbreak for that change to come about.
As we saw with the Marlins’ outbreak, the tentacles on this type of team-wide infection can be far-reaching. The Phillies, Yankees, Orioles, Blue Jays and Nationals all had their schedules upended to varying degrees in the days following the Marlins’ season being “paused.” The Brewers have already been impacted in this instance, and it seems quite likely that the Tigers will encounter a similar fate. The Cardinals are scheduled to host the Cubs this weekend, and depending on the forthcoming test results, it’s possible that series could be impacted as well.