Quick Hits: Cardinals Coronavirus Update, Mize, Kimbrel

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The Cardinals and Brewers scheduled doubleheader for Sunday has been postponed, MLB announced in a statement. The Cardinals had 3 players and 1 staff member test positive for coronavirus this weekend with four pending tests still unresolved, tweets ESPN’s Jesse Rogers. The positive tests will affect the schedule for the next week as well. The Tigers and Cardinals were originally supposed to play a home-and-home pair of series this week in St. Louis and Detroit. Following the cases of coronavirus in St. Louis, however, all four games will be played in Detroit, including a doubleheader on Wednesday. The Brewers’ schedule will be unchanged, as they’ll head to Chicago to take on the White Sox.

  • Contrary to earlier speculation, Casey Mize will not make his major league debut for the Tigers on Sunday, writes The Athletic’s Cody Stavenhagen. Without a minor league pipeline in which to develop, many young players have made their debuts already this season, including highly-touted pitching prospects like Brady Singer of the Royals and Nate Pearson of the Blue Jays. For the time being, however, the Tigers continue to play coy with the future of Mize. Despite the rampant speculation that Mize would earn his promotion to take part in Sunday’s doubleheader, the Tigers finally tabbed Daniel Norris and Rony Garcia instead. Norris will make his 2020 debut after previously testing positive for coronavirus. Garcia, a 22-year-old Rule 5 pick from the Yankees, made his debut on Tuesday getting against the Royals. Garcia went 3 innings, giving up 3 runs, 2 of which were earned. 
  • The Cubs are considering moving Craig Kimbrel out of the closer’s role as the veteran fireballer has continued to surrender the long ball at an alarming rate, per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian and others. Cubs manager David Ross was noncommital when asked to comment on the situation. Jesse Rogers of ESPN noted that Kimbrel has given up a rather shocking 11 home runs in just 22 innings since joining the Cubs midseason last year. Kimbrel is arguably one of the most successful closers the era, but he has yet to figure it out in Chicago. With the bases loaded in the seventh inning today, Ross turned the ball over to Jeremy Jeffress, who would be a top contender to replace Kimbrel. Though he too is coming off a difficult 2019, Jeffress does have experience closing out games (45 career saves). If today’s game was any indication, however, Ross may choose to deploy Jeffress in high-leverage moments while distributing closing opportunities piecemeal to some combination of Rowan Wick, Kyle Ryan, Kimbrel, and Jeffress.

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