With a week remaining before opening day, a Cardinals bullpen that has already seen more absences that additions got at least one reinforcement Saturday and some clarity on two other possibilities.
Alex Reyes participated in workouts for the first time Saturday.
The righthander had been in St. Louis since the start of intake testing, but he had not been able to participate in any workouts for the first fortnight of “Summer Camp.”
Reyes confirmed Saturday evening that he tested positive for COVID-19. He was asymptomatic. He learned that he had completed a second negative test Friday and was cleared to join workouts.
Reyes, wearing his red No. 29 jersey, was in center field shagging fly balls during batting practice when the media arrived at Busch Stadium.
The Cardinals also planned to have Giovanny Gallegos back with them as soon as Saturday as the righthander was cleared to travel from Mexico. He had been trying for the previous 14 to 16 days to make the trip to St. Louis for camp. Shortly before the workouts, the Cardinals announced that Gallegos and lefty Ricardo Sanchez went on the injured list.
The team tweeted the transactions and did not clarify why the players are being placed on the IL or that they were indeed being placed on the 10-day IL. An official said it will be clarified by manager Mike Shildt.
The Cardinals had previously said that they would not confirm or reveal the players they place on the COVID-19 injured list. Sanchez did publicly reveal that he tested positive for the coronavirus as part of the intake testing.
Genesis Cabrera and Elehuris Montero also tested positive for the virus and have been in quarantine since. The Cardinals are hopeful that Cabrera will join workouts at some point in the coming few days. Montero has been assigned to the alternate site camp in Springfield, Mo., when he gains clearance.
Gallegos has so far declined to reveal his reasons for remaining in Mexico. The Cardinals said he had “travel issues.”
All of this happens as the backdrop of a bullpen trying to sort itself out. The addition of Reyes gives the Cardinals 18 pitches in camp. They could go into the regular season with as many as 17 pitchers on their 30-man roster. The team is deciding between carrying 16 and 17 pitchers, and it’s likely that an additional pitcher would be carried on a three-man taxi squad for the first road trip.
The Cardinals open Friday at Busch Stadium against Pittsburgh.