The Cardinals' upcoming series against the Pirates has been postponed, MLB announced Sunday.
St. Louis hasn't played since July 29 as at least 16 members of the team have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week. Their series against the Brewers last weekend was postponed due to an outbreak involving seven players, including catcher Yadier Molina and shortstop Paul DeJong, and six staff members.
The Cardinals were set to return to play this weekend against the Cubs, but that series was postponed as at least three more Cardinals (two players — Austin Dean and Ryan Helsley — and one staff member) tested positive for COVID-19 in recent days.
The Cardinals have played five games this season and are now looking at playing 55 in just 46 days. They have a doubleheader against the Tigers scheduled for Thursday before opening a three-game series at the White Sox this coming weekend. They then have a three-game set scheduled at the Cubs Aug. 17-19.
Cubs players union rep Ian Happ said the possibility of dropping a team for the rest of the season, one that’s sidelined for an extended period due to an outbreak, hasn’t come up in any conversations he’s been a part of.
“I don't think the league's entertaining it; I don't think the Cardinals are entertaining it. I think that right now, you're looking at just how many games can they get in,” Happ said Sunday. “The people making the schedule, the people making the decisions on that, I think they're totally committed to trying to get 60 games in for that team and for every ballclub.
“I think if we get in a situation where something like this happens on Sept. 15 or Sept. 20, that's where we're looking at, 'OK how do we make this work?’ But right now, we still have plenty of time.
“There's days on the calendar and they're gonna go ahead and see how many games they can get in.”
The Cardinals could play several doubleheaders when it's safe for them to return. MLB recently made a rule change to shortening those to seven-inning games.