The Friday series opener between the Cardinals and Brewers in Milwaukee has been postponed after two positive tests by St. Louis players. It's the 15th MLB game that has been postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests just eight days into the 2020 season. The league intends to have the Brewers and Cardinals start their series on Saturday and hold a doubleheader on Sunday. Friday was originally set to be Milwaukee's home opener.
The Cardinals said that the players were tested prior to Wednesday's game against the Twins and they received the positive results late on Thursday night. The team also plans to conduct rapid testing of its traveling party.
Here's the team's full statement from Friday:
The St. Louis Cardinals learned late last night that two players have tested positive for COVID-19 in testing that was conducted on Wednesday, July 29 prior to their game against the Twins in Minneapolis, and have instructed the team's players and staff to self-isolate in their Milwaukee hotel rooms until further notice.
The team did not leave their hotel this morning for Miller Park.
The Cardinals were scheduled to play the Milwaukee Brewers this afternoon. Major League Baseball has announced that today's game against the Brewers is scheduled to be made up as part of a double-header on Sunday, August 2 (1:10 p.m. CT).
The team is currently conducting rapid testing of the entire traveling party, has implemented contact tracing, and will continue to self-isolate.
According to Mark Saxon of The Athletic, two Cardinals pitchers have tested positive for the virus.
This is worrisome news for MLB on the obvious level that additional players or team personnel have tested positive for a virus that carries with it possible serious consequences. Beyond that, this also means that MLB is dealing with positive tests outside of the cluster within the Marlins, which caused the postponement of multiple games. This also marks the first time that MLB is dealing with positive tests outside of the East divisions. The Cardinals recently played the Twins, who in turn played Cleveland on Thursday. As such, these positive tests figure to have implications outside of the scheduled Friday game in Milwaukee.
Former Marlins president David Samson weighed in on MLB's handling of the coronavirus on the latest episode of Nothing Personal with David Samson. Listen below:
Regardless of what specifics emerge, this is concerning news for MLB. The 2020 regular season is less than a week old, and already a sizable percentage of the league's teams have seen their schedules impacted by positive tests. This sums up the current dilemma:
MLB postponements this week:— Scott Lauber (@ScottLauber) July 31, 2020
Phillies: 7 games
Marlins: 7 games
*Yankees: 4 games
*Orioles: 4 games
Blue Jays: 3 games
Nationals: 3 games
Cardinals: 1 game
Brewers: 1 game
(*Yankees and Orioles remained in action by playing two games vs. each other.)
That's not a promising indicator when it comes to the viability of playing a 60-game regular season and expanded playoffs as planned. The calendar was already crowded with games, which means little room to maneuver around case clusters and outbreaks, even small ones.