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Lag in COVID-19 test results forces Cardinals to cancel Monday workouts at Busch

Lag in COVID-19 test results forces Cardinals to cancel Monday workouts at Busch

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Day three of Cardinals 'Summer Camp'

St. Louis Cardinals Paul Goldschmidt, right, talks with manager Mike Shildt during the third day of "Summer Camp" at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on Sunday, July 5, 2020. Photo by Colter Peterson, cpeterson@post-dispatch.com

Conceding there was a level of "frustration" within the clubhouse for an unexpected lag in results from recent COVID-19 tests, the Cardinals canceled their workouts Monday at Busch Stadium because the players were not comfortable reporting until the results were available.

John Mozeliak, president of baseball operations, expressed optimism that the results will be available Monday evening.

Rather than start the workouts later, they'll "start fresh" Tuesday, he said.

Delays have happened throughout the majors because of a delivery wrinkle related to the Fourth of July holiday, Major League Baseball explained. The Cardinals did receive all of their tests, and they were able to administer them on their own Sunday. At issue for them was the results of Friday tests taken of players.

For many players that was their second COVID-19 test for the active virus. Players are tested every other day for the virus, and MLB and the players' union are working to expedite the turnaround of those tests within 24 to 48 hours.

Washington and Oakland were among the teams that also experienced a delay in their results.

For some Cardinals, however, the Friday test was their first test or a test necessary for access to workouts, and not getting that result has prolonged their absence from the field.

On Monday afternoon Major League Baseball issued a statement on the issues facing some teams: “Our plan required extensive delivery and shipping services, including proactive special accommodations to account for the holiday weekend. The vast majority of those deliveries occurred without incident and allowed the protocols to function as planned. Unfortunately, several situations included unforeseen delays. We have addressed the delays caused by the holiday weekend and do not expect a recurrence. We commend the affected Clubs that responded properly by cancelling workouts."

The Cardinals do plan on adding to their roster and have several players going through their first round of entry screening to be added to the workouts at Busch Stadium.

An ongoing issue for the Cardinals is the positive tests of Genesis Cabrera and infielder Elehuris Montero. They were two of the five players who traveled on an MLB charter from the Dominican Republic along with pitcher Carlos Martinez.

Teams are asked to practice contact tracing, and the Cardinals have assistant general manager Moises Rodriguez and a member of the business side working on that when there is a concern. Martinez's interaction on that flight with two positive tests would put him into the contact protocols and that could lead to additional layers of testing.

Mozeliak said the team has utilized the rapid tests often already.

He did not know of an outbreak of positive tests from the charter flight.

He expressed concern about seeing social media photos of center fielder Harrison Bader at Jim Edmonds' birthday party, but added that Bader has gone through the first rounds of testing. He added that it was an example of the decisions players are being asked to make more conservatively.

Two additional players came with them to be ready to go the second camp facility in Springfield, Mo.: Angel Rondon and Julio Rodriguez.

The Cardinals clarified Monday that catcher Ivan Herrera traveled on a different flight from the DR charter. Herrera, a Panamanian, flew along with shortstop Edmundo Sosa. Sosa has participated in drills the past few days after passing the tests required by Major League Baseball's testing protocols.

Major League Baseball will release the 2020 schedule Monday evening. The Cardinals will host opening day July 24 against Pittsburgh, the Post-Dispatch has previously reported. After that series the Cardinals will go a road trip, returning in the first week of August, according to sources and the working schedule given to the club.

This story will be updated.

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