Dean (elbow) on IL; Kim back with caution
The Cardinals placed outfielder Austin Dean on the 10-day injured list with a right elbow strain, an injury that occurred in Sunday’s loss to the Reds when he threw a ball in from left field.
In a corresponding move on Monday, the Cardinals activated Kwang Hyun Kim from the 10-day injured list. As Shildt outlined on Sunday, the Cardinals started the lefty Kim in Game 1 of Monday’s doubleheader and Daniel Ponce de Leon was slated to be the 29th man for Game 2.
It’s been less than 12 days since Kim was taken to a hospital in Chicago because of severe abdominal pain, later diagnosed as a renal infarction (blockage of blood flow to the kidney). Kim’s medication to help with it is a blood thinner, and he’s had to be careful the past week during his workouts to not be cut or bruised because of it. Kim had to get medical clearance to return to a game, and the Cardinals altered the dosage of the blood thinner around the day he’s going to pitch.
President of baseball operations John Mozeliak said that Kim last took the medication Sunday night and won’t take it again until after he pitches.
“He needs to avoid taking a ball,” Mozeliak said. “That’s something our medical staff has to be well aware of. What we tried to modify is how he takes his medication to try to lower that risk. ... It just means you’re trying to avoid any type of hard contact.”
Dean, who spent nearly a month on the COVID-19 injured list after testing positive during the Cardinals outbreak in August, stayed in St. Louis for physical therapy. Mozeliak said that in a normal year, they might get away with not making a move, but with their current schedule of 18 games in 14 days to finish the season, they didn’t want to play short.
The Cardinals didn’t activate another outfielder to replace Dean because they will rotate Tommy Edman and Rangel Ravelo through the outfield in addition to outfielders Tyler O’Neill, Harrison Bader and Lane Thomas.
Outfielder Justin Williams is on the team’s taxi squad for the road trip. Catcher Andrew Knizner, infielder Max Schrock and right-hander Junior Fernández are also on that taxi squad.
Notably absent from the roster moves Monday was reliever John Gant, who exited Sunday’s game with right groin discomfort. The team’s initial assessment was that he was going to be unavailable for one to three days, and he will certainly be unavailable to pitch Monday. Shildt said that Gant dealt with a similar soreness earlier this season, had three days where he didn’t pitch and was able to recover.
“We’re hoping we’re in a similar situation,” Shildt said. “Today, he’s getting treatment and we’ll evaluate from there. We’re hopeful another day or so and he can get back to it.”
Oviedo closer to return
After the Cardinals left for Milwaukee on Sunday, Johan Oviedo was in right field at Busch Stadium, throwing a socially distanced, flat-ground bullpen session. The rookie right-hander is on the injured list because he came in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, and he has been quarantined and tested daily for five days. All of those tests have returned negative and he is asymptomatic, allowing him to go to the field to begin building up his arm for a possible return Wednesday if he has another negative test Tuesday, Mozeliak said.
Wearing a mask, Oviedo threw one ball at a time to an athletic trainer also wearing a mask and gloves. The ball then went into a bucket. Oviedo played catch, gradually stepping back to a long toss and then increased his intensity into a bullpen session.
The Cardinals have not named their Game 2 starter for Wednesday’s doubleheader against the Brewers, but Oviedo could be available by then.
• Mozeliak said the Cardinals will likely close their alternate site camp in Springfield, Mo., this weekend and have some players come to St. Louis to continue working out at a separate time than the active roster. Those players would then be available to be on the Cardinals’ taxi squad if they make it to the postseason.
• No decisions have been made yet on a fall instructional league for Minor League players who weren’t at the Springfield camp, Mozeliak said. He doesn’t expect anything to happen before November, when the team shifts its focus to 2021.
“He’s had an amazing career, and not surprising really given the fact that he’s one of the more talented guys to play this game. When you start talking names like Mays, Mantle, Ruth and others, those are what the game was sort of built on. To be in that same sentence, to achieve that type of home run mark, it speaks volumes. Very happy for him, and when I saw it, I immediately smiled.” -- Mozeliak on Albert Pujols tying Willie Mays for fifth all-time with 660 home runs