Good morning, Athletics Nation!
Baseball is not doing well on the coronavirus front. The Miami Marlins were already down for the count after 18 of their 33 active/taxi players tested positive for the virus, and the Philadelphia Phillies also stepped back as a precaution after playing the Marlins despite no new cases among their own players.
Now another team in another geographic region has an outbreak. The St. Louis Cardinals began reporting positive cases on Friday and are now up to six total, including three players, reports Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Their weekend series against the Brewers was canceled, as was their scheduled Monday contest in Detroit.
For now, the plan is for the Cardinals to resume play Tuesday. The same goes for the Marlins, who have been quarantining for over a week. The Phillies will have to wait a bit longer, as their whole upcoming week has been postponed just in case.
This latest development in St. Louis is discouraging because it signifies an expansion of the problem toward the worst-case scenario. It was one thing when the virus was contained to just one team, especially since the geographic regions are separate and everybody plays only nine different opponents. But now there’s another team, and two-thirds of the regions are affected. Watch out for the Minnesota Twins, the last team to play the Cardinals last Tue/Wed.
Worse, there are concerns of some players not taking the pandemic seriously enough, and engaging in irresponsible extracurricular activities that increase their odds of carrying the virus back into their teams’ clubhouses. That led MLB to issue a reality check to the MLBPA about what they need to do to ensure the continued viability of the season, plus some tighter protocols for player behavior, including the addition of a Compliance Officer for each club to make sure everyone is following the guidelines.
With all of this in the background, several more players have chosen to opt out of the season, including stars like Lorenzo Cain of the Milwaukee Brewers and Yoenis Cespedes of the New York Mets. There are now 20 players around the league who have opted out and stayed out, and MLB Trade Rumors has a live tracker with the full list.
For now, the A’s and the rest of the West region have been able to avoid letting the virus leak into their ranks. But even if that remains true, it may not matter if enough of the rest of the Central and East regions get shut down, or if enough of a toll is taken by further opt-outs — not to mention the notable increase in injuries so far after everyone rushed to get ready for the resumption of play. The 2020 season is under serious threat, and we’ll find out a lot more about its chance of completion over the next week or two.
- Kawahara: A’s Ramón Laureano exploring center field in depth ($)
- Kawahara: A’s manager Bob Melvin confident his team’s hitting will ‘come around’ ($)
- Kawahara: A’s Jesús Luzardo to make first MLB start on Tuesday ($)
- Slusser: Long anticipated first big-league start at hand for A’s Jesús Luzardo on Tuesday ($)
- Slusser: A’s open first road trip amid uncertainty over safety, potential season shutdown ($)
- Hickey: Montas Kept on Schedule; Luzardo Will Start Tuesday in Coliseum vs. Rangers
- Montas: Athletics Montas has New Plan for Throwing his Splitter vs. Mariners
- Hickey: Athletics Wary of Season’s Future as they Start First Road Trip in Seattle
- Hickey: Athletics Finally Find Their Comfort Zone; It’s the 10th Inning
- Hickey: While Athletics Keep it Simple, Not Every MLB Team is Following Suit
- Gallegos: Amid slow start, A’s not ready to sound alarm
- Gallegos: Luzardo to make 1st start; Davis sits
- Slusser podcast: Guest is Chronicle writer Ann Killion
- Portside podcast: Guest is Zac Basch, A’s Director of Minor League Operations
- Nico: MLB’s/MLBPA’s Mind-Boggling Stupidity Comes Home To Roost
- Hall: Quick look: Jordan Weems throws strikes, saves bullpen in MLB debut
- Friday: Game #7: Three hits and another quiet loss, 5-3 to the Mariners
- Saturday: Game #8: Robbie Grossman leads A’s to 3-2 win in 10th inning
- Sunday: Game #9: A’s win 3-2 for second straight day
MLB News, & Interest
- Goold: No games in Milwaukee after 4 more Cardinals personnel test positive for COVID-19, Detroit series shifted
- Passan: MLB commissioner warns of shutdown if coronavirus isn’t better managed
- Nightengale: Astros owner Jim Crane opens up on sign-stealing scandal: ‘It weighs on all of us every day’
- Franco: Rangers Place Danny Santana On 10-Day Injured List
- MLBTR: Players Opting Out Of The 2020 Season (full list of 20)
- Today in Baseball History
Weekend Game Highlights
Friday: Loss! But check out this sweet catch by Ramon.
Saturday: Win! In 10 innings! Robbie Grossman played hero.
Sunday: Win! Laureano provided all the scoring with one swing of the bat.
Best of A’s Twitter
Don’t worry, they don’t put arms on the cutouts
I did say hi to Mrs. Hall that day!
Best of MLB Twitter
Yet another piece of bad news in 2020
The Angels have sent Shohei Ohtani for an MRI. He expressed some discomfort after pitching. They don't have MRI results yet.— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) August 3, 2020
Astros lose another star pitcher
Roberto Osuna was placed on the injured list with right elbow soreness. Humberto Castellanos was added to the major league roster.— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) August 2, 2020
... AND another
From the #Astros: Placed RHP Chris Devenski on the Injured List, effective today, retroactive to 7/29/2020— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) August 1, 2020
Selected the contract of RHP Carlos Sanabria from HOU Alternate Training Site, effective today, 8/1/2020. Sanabria will wear #71.
Another key AL rival also takes a loss in the bullpen
Aaron Boone announces Tommy Kahnle will get Tommy John surgery. Kahnle got an MRI today and was placed on the 10-day IL (retroactive to 7/28) with a right UCL injury but now they won't see him again until at least 2021.— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) August 1, 2020
Sorry to post Giants news, but it’s worth it for Triggs
ROSTER MOVES:— SFGiants (@SFGiants) August 2, 2020
• RHP Andrew Triggs selected from Alternate Training Site.
• LHP Drew Smyly placed on the 10-day injured list with a left index finger strain.
• RHP Jandel Gustave designated for assignment. #SFGiants
Take this job and shove it
When Yoenis Cespedes didn't show up today, the Mets sent security to his room. They found it empty. He had taken his belongings, just up and left, and through his agent informed the team mid-game that he was opting out, according to Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 2, 2020
Speaking of La Potencia, does this throw rank in Cespedes territory?
Just hope its closer’s curve isn’t too sharp
We just gotta get to COVID’s bullpen— Callie Tsai (@CallieTsai) August 1, 2020