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Cardinals Cleared By MLB to Travel and to Prepare for Cubs on Friday, Roster Fallout Begins

Chicago Cubs

I think we still have to proceed with a sense of caution, knowing that the next positive test could come at any time and totally disrupt any plans. But for now, the plan remains to have the Cubs travel to St. Louis for this weekend’s series against the Cardinals.

To that end, Cardinals President John Mozeliak says the team has received clearance from MLB to travel back to St. Louis (they’d been quarantining in Milwaukee), where they will start preparing for Friday’s game. Absent any additional positive tests or new outbreaks, the series with the Cubs is on.

Here’s how Theo Epstein discussed that possibility: “Obviously, if [MLB] determine[s] that those games should be played, it’ll come hand in hand with a determination that it’s safe for us. I’m sure they’ll share the relevant information and be transparent about everything that’s transpired, so that we can, in turn, reassure our players and staff who would be making that trip that they’re not putting themselves in harm’s way. There’s been good communication and collaboration to try to work through this. It’s an evolving situation and we’re just going to remain flexible and communicative, and see where it leads us.”

Again, I won’t get too far ahead, because so much could happen in the next two days. But if the games do indeed happen, I anticipate there will be extra precautious taken to ensure there is zero overlap in physical proximity off the field between Cubs and Cardinals players/staff, and perhaps even some extra precautions on the field. It’s our understanding that the testing would capture even asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic individuals before Friday if they were part of that outbreak, but there’s zero reason to mess around.

As for the roster and performance implications here – these are baseball games, after all – the Cardinals will be missing at least three critical players in Yadi Molina, Paul DeJong, and Carlos Martinez. Replacing seven players on what will then be a 28-man roster isn’t too terribly difficult given the 60-man player pool, but the quality and readiness of your depth takes such a huge hit. And this is a Cardinals team that is already without Miles Mikolas and Jordan Hicks.

This is what it looks like when you suffer an outbreak and try to continue playing, coaching, developing:

Also, there’s gotta be a lesson in here for MLB to use in the future somehow (Cardinals.com):

The urgency of quarantining was not lost on the team, even though being confined to a hotel room for multiple days had players, coaches and staff itching to get out. But the “luckiest” part of the entire situation, Mozeliak said, was the Cardinals’ off-day last Thursday, because the entire traveling party did not meet.

“I think that really changed our trajectory, which is scary, because we still had 13 positives,” Mozeliak said. “Had we had a game that day and treated it as a normal day — which we would have, because we would have not known of those positives — I think we would’ve been looking at … a very dramatic effect on this team. And 13 could’ve easily doubled.”

You don’t want “luck” to play any part in your PLAN for limiting the spread of the virus. So I’d like to know that MLB is studying the Cardinals’ situation closely (and Marlins), and quickly developing additional protocols for other teams so that the Cardinals’ good luck can be other clubs’ good design.



Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.