Reyes, Cabrera 'progressing nicely' for Cards

July 26th, 2020

ST. LOUIS -- and are “progressing nicely” at the Cardinals’ alternate training site in Springfield, Mo., manager Mike Shildt said Sunday.

The two relievers arrived late to Summer Camp at Busch Stadium after testing positive for COVID-19 during intake testing earlier this month. While quarantining in St. Louis, neither could throw off a mound, so their availability to be on the roster was delayed, even when they were cleared to participate in workouts.

Shildt said that the two threw bullpen sessions recently and recovered well from them, so they will throw another either Sunday or Monday. After recovering from that, they’ll move on to live batting practice before being considered for the active roster.

“Feedback’s been really good from the Springfield camp,” Shildt said. “They’ve been progressing nicely. Seems like everything’s been positive on both accounts.”

Reliever Giovanny Gallegos -- also delayed getting into camp, but able to throw while away -- will likely be added to the Cardinals' roster Tuesday, in time for the mid-week series against the Twins. The Cardinals' active roster is at 29 players, keeping one spot open for Gallegos.

Thomas gets a start in center
Lane Thomas started Sunday’s series finale against the Pirates at Busch Stadium in place of center fielder Harrison Bader, going 0-for-2 with a walk in the Cardinals' 5-1 loss. Shildt said that Bader, who got hit by a pitch twice Saturday, is fine; the team wanted to give him a break and get Thomas an opportunity to start.

Thomas, 24, hit .316 in 34 games last year before his season ended with a right wrist fracture in September. The Cardinals opened up playing time for him and Tyler O’Neill in the outfield this season, and while O’Neill won the starting left field job, Thomas can and will likely see more playing time in all three spots this season.

“Lane’s a guy we saw last year contribute for us, was able to come off the bench and perform well,” Shildt said. “Didn’t get a lot of chances to start, but played well when he did. Had a nice solid Spring Training, good solid Summer Camp. Has some pop in his bat, but also a nice short stroke. Has a nice approach at the plate, can run, plays defense, throws well. Got a lot of tools.”

Worth noting
The Cardinals will head out on their first road trip Monday, when they leave for Minnesota to play the Twins on Tuesday. Traveling will look a little different this year with health and safety protocols in place to limit the spread of COVID-19. Among other things, players are encouraged to stay in the team hotel as much as possible and can’t arrive at the ballpark more than five hours before first pitch, which is significantly later than many arrive in a typical year.