Javier Báez not expected to return in September

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Cubs shortstop Javier Báez isn’t expected to play for the remainder of the regular season due to a hairline fracture in his left thumb, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports. Báez jammed his left thumb during a game against the Brewers on September 1. He will rehab with the hope of joining the Cubs in the postseason. The Cubs entered Monday leading the second NL Wild Card by 1.5 games.

Along with his trademark outstanding defense, the 26-year-old Báez has hit .281/.316/.532 with 29 home runs, 85 RBI, and 88 runs scored in 560 plate appearances this season.

With both Báez and Addison Russell (head injury) sidelined, the Cubs called up prospect Nico Hoerner from Double-A Tennessee. He’s the Cubs’ No. 1 prospect and No. 47 in baseball, per MLB Pipeline. The Cubs put him in Monday night’s starting lineup against the Padres, batting sixth and playing shortstop.

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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