ST. LOUIS -- Looking back, Paul Goldschmidt isn’t sure if he would have felt 100 percent healthy to start the regular season in March had this been a normal year. The Cardinals first baseman dealt with right elbow soreness during Spring Training and had been used as the designated hitter
ST. LOUIS -- Looking back, Paul Goldschmidt isn’t sure if he would have felt 100 percent healthy to start the regular season in March had this been a normal year. The Cardinals first baseman dealt with right elbow soreness during Spring Training and had been used as the designated hitter in most exhibition games to give his elbow a break from fielding.
But the three-month delay to the season allowed the elbow to mend.
“I was able to take some time off and give it some rest and get treatment on it for awhile,” Goldschmidt said during a video conference at Busch Stadium on Friday. “It’s 100 percent now. I’m not sure if it would have been if we rolled right into the season. Hopefully that’s one positive, personally.”
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Goldschmidt spent the past three months in South Florida, occasionally rehabbing at the Cardinals' facility in Jupiter, as well as working out with a group of players in Palm Beach that included Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and Giancarlo Stanton.
“I saw them out there,” Goldschmidt said when asked if he faced Verlander and Scherzer. “I got plenty of at-bats, and it’s fun to go out there and compete. That’s what we want to do. I enjoyed it.”
When it came time to report to Busch Stadium for Summer Camp, Goldschmidt said the decision to play or not to play due to the coronavirus pandemic “wasn’t really a thought.”
“I feel pretty confident in the setup that the Players Association and Major League Baseball and the Cardinals have come up with,” he said. “I wanted to play baseball. We’ll take every precaution that we can, but there’s going to be risk whether you’re playing baseball or not playing baseball, whatever it’s going to be. For me personally, I just wanted to play.”
Gallegos delayed in reporting; Martínez and others to report Saturday
The Cardinals have one player who is delayed in getting to St. Louis. Reliever Giovanny Gallegos has not left his home in Mexico yet, and the Cardinals are unsure of when he will be able to travel to St. Louis.
The group of players coming from the Dominican Republic on MLB’s charter flight are still going through intake testing and were not at Busch Stadium on Friday. Carlos Martínez, Génesis Cabrera, Ivan Herrera and Elehuris Montero landed in Miami later than expected on Wednesday, delaying their arrival in St. Louis. They had their first COVID-19 and antibodies tests early Thursday and must wait for the results before participating at Busch Stadium. Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said that he expected those results later Friday and, if negative, for the group to join camp Saturday.
Other than those players, Shildt said that everyone expected to report did so on Friday.
President of baseball operations John Mozeliak confirmed that the team has had one person test positive and go into quarantine. By rule, he cannot confirm whether that person is a player, coach or staff member. He did say that the person had not yet reported to St. Louis and underwent a positive test elsewhere. That person will need to have two negative tests before joining the team.
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Mikolas ‘full go’ in bullpens
After a flexor tendon strain in his right forearm pushed Mikolas’ availability for Opening Day back in Spring Training, the Cardinals starter is healthy and says he will be ready for the beginning of the season later this month.
Like Goldschmidt, the delay allowed Mikolas to rest and recover. He received a platelet-rich injection (PRP) in March and was shut down from throwing when Spring Training was halted. On Friday, Mikolas described his arm in mid-Spring Training shape and said he’s ramped up to around 40 pitches or two innings.
“It was pretty sore [in March] and I was just getting started on the rehab program,” Mikolas said. “Now, full-go bullpens. Looking forward to my first live BP coming up, and ready to go. Ready to get out there and compete. … I feel good where I am right now, and I think I’ll be ready to get going once the season starts.”
Mikolas said his family will remain at home in Jupiter this season for precautionary reasons. He and his wife have three young children, including twins who are nearly 2 years old, and both of their families are in the Jupiter area to help with the kids and family dog.
“With the two young kids [that] were premature and me being exposed at a greater risk here and bringing it back to them, it made more sense for us for them to stay hunkered down and for me to be out here,” Mikolas said.
Anne Rogers covers the Cardinals for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @anne__rogers and on Facebook.