It appears Major League Baseball desperately wants the Brewers and Cardinals to try to play as many games as it can this weekend at Miller Park, even after a pair of positive COVID-19 cases postponed the Brewers’ home opener Friday.
The early news Saturday morning is not looking promising.
Reporter Craig Mish says the latest round of COVID testing while the Cardinals were bunkered in their team hotel has shown multiple more positive test — “at least 5,” according to Mish.
There have been several Cardinals players that have tested positive for Covid-19. Per sources. More than five.— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) August 1, 2020
Jon Heyman, who broke the news of the initial Cardinal positives, says he’s also hearing “multiple” people on the Cardinals’ traveling party tested positive, but it’s unclear at this time how many are staff and how many are players.
Hear multiple Cardinals personnel tested positive. Don’t have breakdown of players/staff— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) August 1, 2020
With more time to dig, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic says the number is between 4 and 6 new cases.
Between four and six additional Cardinals have tested positive, a source tells The Athletic. Another postponement tonight would appear likely. On it: @CraigMish.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 1, 2020
This would seem to follow the pattern we saw with the Marlins earlier this week — due to the incubation period of the virus, people carrying it may not test positive for two or three days after exposure. That means someone who tested negative in the initial round of testing in Minnesota that found the initial positives could test positive in the next round of testing conducted at the team hotel in Milwaukee could have been carrying the virus — and spreading it to others — all along.
The Cardinals are reportedly getting multiple players to drive from their secondary training site in Springfield, Missouri in hopes of filling roster spots for those who tested positive (and possibly those who had just been exposed to the positive cases without testing positive themselves), but the team fully acknolwedged to local media they would likely have to play short-handed tonight if the game went on as scheduled — and this was before news of more positives broke today.
The Brewers were scheduled to play the Cardinals just after 6 tonight, then play a 7-inning doubleheader against them tomorrow afternoon. While there has been no official word yet on the status of those games, if two positive tests caused yesterday’s home opener to be postponed, it’s a solid bet more postponements are coming with this latest update.
If there’s good news, it appears the outbreaks so far have been isolated to individual teams, and team-to-team transmission through playing appears not to be an issue at this point — at least based on the Phillies testing negative all week after player the Marlins last weekend. Still, it’s difficult to see how the league could allow the Cardinals to play tonight without knowing the full extent of this outbreak as more positive cases come in.
Jon Heyman and Jeff Passan say Saturday night’s game has also been postponed. The status of Sunday’s double header is still unknown.
Brewers-Cardinals game postponed— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) August 1, 2020