Cardinals aim to return with DH on Saturday

The St. Louis Cardinals will attempt to play a doubleheader at Chicago against the White Sox on Saturday, which would end a 17-day stretch without playing a game, ESPN reported Friday.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch indicated that Saturday’s doubleheader is contingent on an unspecified number of pending COVID-19 tests.

The Cardinals last played July 29 at Minnesota then had 18 consecutive games postponed after a spate of positive COVID-19 tests among players, and staff. A total of 10 of the 18 positive tests were among players.

The latest postponed game came Friday in the opener of a three-game series against the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.

As if getting back to action was not challenging enough, multiple reports indicated that Cardinals players are being asked to drive individually from St. Louis to Chicago. According to ESPN, it was mandated that the five-hour drive be made in rental cars.

Separate reports Friday indicated that another member of the Cardinals staff had recently tested positive for COVID-19. That ended a two-day streak of no positives. According to USA Today, that staff member had been in isolation and was not in contact with team members.

While one game of the doubleheader will make up for Friday’s postponement, the team would have 17 games to make up by the time the regular season ends Sept. 27 against the Milwaukee Brewers. No details were given on what the team’s schedule would look like beyond this weekend’s series at Chicago.

Beginning Saturday, the Cardinals will have 44 days to play 55 games, including all postponed contests. MLB has indicated that it does not expect the Cardinals to play all of their outstanding games.

The Cardinals were 2-3 and on a three-game losing streak when their season was paused.