Matt Shoemaker plays long toss, could throw from mound Sunday

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Angels starter Matt Shoemaker continues to make progress from a left oblique strain. Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times reports that the right-hander long-tossed from 180-200 feet on Saturday afternoon with no restrictions. Per Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Shoemaker said he still felt some tightness, but it’s almost gone.

Shoemaker could throw from a mound on Sunday, which would be the next step as he attempts to rejoin the Angels for the ALDS against the winner of the Wild Card play-in game.

Shoemaker, celebrating his 28th birthday today, has been a pleasant surprise for the Angels, as he ends the regular season with a 16-4 record, a 3.04 ERA, and a 124/24 K/BB ratio in 136 innings over 20 starts and seven relief appearances. If he’s able to join the Angels in the ALDS, he would slot in behind Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson.

Cards’ Yadier Molina says he tested positive for COVID-19

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St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina says he’s one of the players on the team who tested positive for COVID-19.

The nine-time All-Star revealed his results Tuesday in a Spanish-language Instagram post. Soon afterward, the Cardinals issued a release naming six of the players who have tested positive.

The others are infielders Paul DeJong, Edmundo Sosa and Rangel Ravelo along with pitchers Junior Fernandez and Kodi Whitley.

“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 release issued by the team. “I will do everything within my power to return as soon as possible for Cardinals fans, the city of St. Louis and my teammates.”

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said Monday that seven players and six staff members had tested positive. At the time, Mozeliak said the people to test positive hadn’t been identified publicly because they had declined to have their names released.

The Cardinals said Tuesday that six players had decided to grant permission to have their names revealed.

“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,” DeJong said in a statement released by the team.

The outbreak resulted in the postponement of the Cardinals’ scheduled three-game weekend series at Milwaukee as well as a four-game series with Detroit that was supposed to run Monday through Thursday. The Cardinals have played just five games this season and are hoping to return to action Friday hosting the Chicago Cubs.

As of now, the Cardinals who have tested positive have returned home while the rest of the team remains isolated in Milwaukee hotel rooms. Their last game was July 29 at Minnesota.

Mozeliak said Monday that five of the 13 overall members of the Cardinals’ traveling party to test positive were asymptomatic. The other eight had minor symptoms including headaches, coughs, sniffles and low-grade fevers. Mozeliak said none of the eight had required hospitalization.

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