The St. Louis Cardinals have hit pause on their season after suffering a COVID-19 outbreak. The team has had 13 positive tests in recent days, including seven players. They have not played since last Wednesday and will not play again until at least this Friday.
On Tuesday the Cardinals announced the identities of six of the seven players who tested positive. Among them is stalwart catcher Yadier Molina and All-Star shortstop Paul DeJong. Molina announced he tested positive himself on Instagram.
"I am saddened to have tested positive for COVID-19, even after adhering to safety guidelines that were put in place," Molina said in a statement. "I will do everything within my power to return as soon as possible for Cardinals fans, the city of St. Louis and my teammates. As I recover, I request that you please respect my privacy and family in my absence from the team."
DeJong added: "I am disappointed to share that I have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, even though I followed team protocols. I will approach my healing as I do all other things in my life – with education, commitment, and persistence. I look forward to re-joining the team soon and ask that you respect my privacy at this time."
Infielders Edmundo Sosa and Rangel Ravelo, and righties Junior Fernandez and Kodi Whitley, have also tested positive for COVID-19, the Cardinals announced. MLB.com ranks Fernandez, Whitley, and Sosa at the Nos. 9, 13, and 19 prospects in St. Louis' farm system. President of baseball operations John Mozeliak denied a report the team's outbreak started at a casino.
Because COVID-19 is a non-work-related illness, it is covered by the privacy guidelines in the collective bargaining agreement. The Cardinals were given permission by the players to reveal their positive tests. MLB's protocols requires players to test negative twice at least 24 hours apart, among other things, before they can return to action.
The Cardinals are not the only team to experience a COVID-19 outbreak this year. The Marlins had 21 members of their traveling party test positive last week, including 18 players. They will return to play Tuesday night with a drastically different roster.