Bobo's here and we've got some ballplayers. Let's go!
The first wave of infected players including Yadier Molina and Paul DeJong, will not play this weekend. They will continue to undergo testing and they will resume working out to get into game shape. As for the doubleheaders, even with the seven-inning format the bunching of games will put the team at a huge disadvantage. Relievers face the injury risk of pitching too frequently with the games stacked up. And all the players risk injury by coming back from inactivity into such a heavy schedule without the usual preparation. These guys have been mostly sitting around for 17 days. Finally, coming back into competition cold will put hitters at a huge disadvantage for at least the next few weeks.
The Cardinals will be minus 11 players, counting Austin Gomber who did not test positive but was exposed. Molina, DeJong, Carlos Martinez, Edmundo Sosa, Lane Thomas, Ryan Helsley, Rangel Ravelo, Austin Dean, Kodi Whitley and Junior Fernandez are the COVID casualties.
The problem is the time lapse in testing and detection. The Marlins tried to play on after separating the players who test positive, but they didn't realize that the virus had already spread to other players who tested positive later. And continuing on made that spread worse. That's why MLB shut the Cardinals down completely until there were finally no new positives.
I have not seen a lineup update for the Blues, but I sincerely doubt we will see Jordan Kyrou unless the Blues lose a scoring line winger at some point. It will be interesting to see if Alexander Steen is good to go. I didn't mind Jacob de la Rose in Game 1, but this guy went weeks without playing in the regular season.
It's a pandemic, so people are going to catch this thing. Yes, it's a bad look to be the only team that has to shut down for two-plus weeks -- but we could see other teams fall prey to this thing. Unless somebody comes up with proof that the Cardinals were especially careless, I'll just look at this as extremely bad luck.
I thought the Blues were much closer to their old selves in Game 1. But, yes, now it is time to get some results. They missed the physical play of Ivan Barbashev and Sammy Blais and they may have to do without that for a while longer. The also mssed Steen on the penalty kill. Could Bortuzzo jump back in and block some shots? I could see that at some point.
I love the logo and the colors. "St. Louis City FC" seems a bit clunky, but I will get used it. I would have gone with something a bit simpler.
Binnington has established his ability to bounce back. That will be tested again in Game 2. He knows the untimely Stecher goal was a killer and the loss was pretty much on hiim, despite some great saves earlier in the game. I won't say this is a defining moment for him because he already had that moment in Game 7 against the Bruins.
If this team has proven anything, it has proven that it can be very vulnerable and contagious. Let's hope our heroes are careful on that drive up I-55. Wedging into a crowded truck stop rest room could become a perilous adventure.
MLB will make that call, not the Cardinals. Maybe a bunch of players will opt out, but MLB needs the Cardinals to fill out as much of the schedule as possible to keep the other teams in balance.
Such players are scarce and very hard to come by. That's why the team is hoping that the Carlson/Gorman/Montero wave will offer some heft. For a host of reasons we went over in previous chats, I don't see the Cardinals spenting giant money on a hitter for next season should one come available. Let's see where the team and the industry is in 2022.
The team brought up Carlson now because he has been hitting in game situations during the last 17 days while Dexter Fowler, Harrison Bader and Tyler O'Neill were mostly sitting around and both Lane Thomas and Austin Dean were landing on the COVID list. And with three doubleheaders in five days, I believe it might possible to get all four outfielders plenty of at bats.
I suppose that would be a nice thing to do.
Willie McGee taking a step back because he has preexisting conditions that make him vulnerable to virus and traveling around the Midwest playing baseball. I have not seen any statements by him that suggest he distrusts the players.
There is a tremendous risk of pitcher injury, as we have seen all across baseball. The Cardinals have been especially careful with Jack Flaherty and I expect them to proceed with caution will all of their guys. That is why they brought up game-ready arms from their Springfield camp. They may not be MLB-caliber pitchers, but at least they prepared to handle some work.
At this point, I will believe it when I see it. There is still plenty of time to get infected. Like I said before, beware of the truck stop rest rooms on I-55.
I can't imagine how all of this dead time will make the Cardinals better. It could take the batters weeks to get their timing back. And it's not like they were raking the ball when this team shut down.
We'll see when the Cardinals ever play another game.
I am not optimistic that college football can happen with the three holdout Power 5 conferences. Once campuses fill up again, the COVID-19 will spread. How can coaches isolate their players from the rest of the school? Perhaps NFL teams will be able to keep players in something of a bubble, but there are so many loose cannons on every team that I can't imagine that working.