Another day without relievers Giovanny Gallegos, Alex Reyes and Genesis Cabrera Sunday and Cardinals manager Mike Shildt barely can count on them being ready for the start of the season 11 days from now as summer camp has reached the halfway point.
Cabrera, as well as infielder Elehuris Montero and lefthander Ricardo Sanchez, has tested positive for a second time for the coronavirus but still is asymptomatic and in St. Louis, Shildt said.
"They're chomping at the bit to get back but they still have to be cleared from a medical perspective," Shildt said. "The other guys are doing what they can to get back into camp."
There is no official word linking the virus to Gallegos, who still is in Mexico and Reyes, who is here. Both Reyes and his representative have declined comment on his status.
Thus, on a potential 17-man staff there would seem to be at least those three openings.
"It's going to be a challenge, clearly (for Cabrera, Gallegos and Reyes)," said Shildt. "Every day that goes by and they're not here is more of a challenge.
"The biggest two factors will be (a) when they get here and (b) how they look and how they can get ready without us feeling like we're rushing them."
With the bullpen in some flux, Jake Woodford, normally a starter but who relieved some this spring, worked two innings out of the bullpen Sunday and then another inning after the five-inning squad game ended in a creatively scored 3-3 tie, which statistically was a 2-2 deadlock at Busch Stadium.
"He's had a couple of saves the last couple of years in spring training. He's being built up as a starter but the fact of the matter is that if he comes and helps us, it may be in that relief situation," Shildt said.
Woodford, who hasn't pitched yet in the majors, was 9-8 at Class AAA Memphis last year and started the Triple-A All-Sar Game.
But one of the relievers Shildt knows he will be depending on is lefthanded slinger Andrew Miller, who looked like the Cleveland Andrew Miller in what amounted to the ninth inning, striking out lefthanded batters Kolten Wong and Matt Carpenter with the winning run at second base.
"That was vintage Miller," said Shildt.
Miles Mikolas worked 2 2/3 innings and allowed two runs although neither was earned as first baseman Rangel Ravelo and third baseman Max Schrock combined for three of the four Blue team errors in the third inning after Mikolas had started the rally by hitting a batter.
"I didn't really have a ball leave the infield," said Mikolas. "So I'm pretty happy with that."
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