DeWitts volunteer use of Busch Stadium as voting site, ‘conversation’ ongoing with city; Fowler returns to lineup


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    St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Junior Fernandez (44) chats with Dexter Fowler (25) after an inning of an intrasquad match-up at Busch Stadium on Thursday, July 16, 2020. Photo by Chris Kohley, [email protected]

    The limitations the Cardinals had in their bullpen, declined to disclose in comments, and yet revealed by their usage became more obvious Thursday as they shuffled the roster to add two fresh arms.

    Manager Mike Shildt said there was nothing structurally wrong with the reliever’s joint after exams were taken.

    To replenish the bullpen for Thursday’s doubleheader against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Cardinals promoted Junior Fernandez to the major-league roster and added righthander Seth Elledge as the 29th man for the roster. Elledge will be eligible for either game of the doubleheader, and as long as the Cardinals make a corresponding move Friday to reduce to 28 men on the active roster Elledge can remain with the big-league club.

    The Cardinals also announced that Edmundo Sosa had been optioned to the Springfield, Mo., alternate-site camp.

    Sosa and Fernandez have both come off the COVID-19 injured list, and thus continues the Cardinals’ complicated stretch of managing the 40-man roster. The Cardinals had 10 players test positive for the virus, and all 10 were eligible to come off the 40-man roster and be replaced to help the team continue to play. When those players return, the Cardinals must clear those spots on the 40-man roster again — by trade, by waivers, or by release.

    The Cardinals have 46 players on the 40-man roster at the moment, and they have had four of the 10 players return from the COVID-19 IL.

    Before Sosa and Fernandez, Paul DeJong and Yadier Molina returned. Carlos Martinez has reported to the Springfield camp to throw live batting practice and sim games there — readying for a return possibly in early September.

    A day after not playing as part of a protest throughout professional sports, Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler is back in the lineup and playing right field for Game 1 of the doubleheader. Fowler and pitcher Jack Flaherty were considered healthy scratches by the team Wednesday they decided to take part in a widespread statement by individual players and teams attempting to bring awareness to the systemic racism, the shooting of a Black man by a police officer in Wisconsin, and civil unrest that has come to define this summer as much as the global pandemic.

    The Cardinals supported the decisions made by Fowler and Flaherty, and they even met as a team to discuss whether they would play Wednesday at all.

    Fowler told Shildt that he would play Thursday, that he would be there with the team for the doubleheader.

    • Yadier Molina and Shildt have discussed the possibility of him catching both games Thursday, all 14 innings. Shildt said they’ll see how Game 1 goes, but that Molina is « physically and mentally » ready, and that it is a possibility that he just plays.

    • This was asked on Twitter, and it’s a good question: Yes, the Cardinals have approached the mayor about making Busch Stadium available as a polling site for the election in November. The entire ballpark complex would allow for greater space, social distancing, during the pandemic, and the city is looking into whether it’s feasible. Ultimately, the decision would be made by the St. Louis City Board of Election Commissioners, and that is separate from the city. What the board would have to determine is if the location and facilities are welcome addition to the voting sites.

    The city has approved money to help the board establish three satellite voting sites for use ahead of the Nov. 3 election. Busch Stadium would be considered as one of those sites and possibly an election day site. A city official says « the conversation is started. »

    • Austin Gomber is set for a larger late-inning, high-leverage role with Miller on the injury list. « He’s earned it, » Shildt said.

    Check back here throughout the afternoon and evening for coverage of the game and any news and notes that will surface. The Post-Dispatch has three writers at Busch Stadium bringing in-person coverage from the field, and will continue to do that all weekend.

    Derrick Goold is the lead Cardinals beat writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and past president of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

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    The Cardinals officially considered them healthy scratches for Wednesday’s game, and released a statement supporting their decision.

    Wednesday was sports history. A day we’ll remember, a day our children should be taught about. 

    Martinez’s return as a starter could be pivotal to a plan to navigate six doubleheaders in 14 days while not taxing a bullpen that could be thinned.

    Cards tease a game-tying rally in 8th, when DeJong was thrown out at home, and 9th, when they left Bader stranded at third after a one-out triple.

    More hot topics from Derrick Goold’s chat: Where’s Waino in 2021? Would Cards trade for Rosenthal? ‘KK’ in the mix for Rookie of the Year?

    Given what the Cards have gone through, is it right to make a trade, or should they stick with the roster that got them off to a winning restart?

    St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Junior Fernandez (44) chats with Dexter Fowler (25) after an inning of an intrasquad match-up at Busch Stadium on Thursday, July 16, 2020. Photo by Chris Kohley, [email protected]


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