On Saturday, the St. Louis Cardinals had four members of its traveling party test positive for COVID-19, with four more having what the Cardinals have characterized as “inconclusive results.” Could be four Cardinals positive tests? Could be eight? Given the questionable reliability of the “rapid” testing teams do on-site as opposed to the test results from MLB’s Utah lab, it’s hard to say.
But it may not matter, because ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported last night that the latest round of those tests from Utah are, in the words of someone with the team, “not good,” and multiple new Cardinals positive tests are expected today.
Cardinals personnel have been isolated from one other since arriving in Milwaukee for the completely postponed three-game weekend series they were supposed to play against the Brewers. Their game scheduled against the Tigers today has likewise been postponed and now they are currently scheduled to play four games in three days against the Tigers in Detroit starting tomorrow. If, as Passan is hearing, there are many Cardinals positive tests, it’s highly unlikely that the team will be heading on to Detroit any time soon.
We know this because the last team to experience a COVID outbreak on a road trip, the Miami Marlins, spent an entire week in isolation and, just yesterday, the infected members of the club boarded busses for a trip back to Miami while the rest of the club headed on to Baltimore to play the Orioles. That is just part of a radically reworked schedule the league released on Saturday, with the Marlins in Baltimore, the Phillies resuming play against the Yankees in New York, the Yankees and Rays series for later this week getting pushed by a day and doubleheaders being scheduled, and many other changes, all of which can be seen here.
In light of the new Cardinals positive tests we expect to see later this morning, expect more shuffling. And expect more questions about whether Major League Baseball can or even should be trying to play its season right now.