Arenado, Goldschmidt among Cardinals players not going to Toronto
Three St. Louis Cardinals, including Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt, aren’t going to Toronto for the series against the Blue Jays on July 26-27.
St. Louis Cardinals superstar infielders Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado won’t be traveling north to Toronto with the rest of the team for the brief two-game series against the Blue Jays on July 26-27. They, along with catcher Austin Romine, have not received a vaccine against COVID-19, which is required to enter Canada, and are ineligible to play.
Relief pitcher Johan Oviedo might also be forced to miss the series because of an expired passport. Oviedo will speak to his agent in Miami and later travel to the Canadian consulate to attempt to obtain a waiver, according to Jeff Jones of the Belleville-News Democrat. President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak made these announcements on Sunday afternoon.
Arenado’s reasons for avoiding a vaccine included fertility concerns, as Arenado expressed a desire to start a family soon. Goldschmidt’s and Romine’s reasons have not been disclosed. Manager Oliver Marmol said he respected the three players’ decisions to remain unvaccinated and has “zero issue” with it. Goldschmidt, Arenado and Romine will not be paid for the missed games.
The three unvaccinated players’ replacements will be relief pitcher James Naile, catcher Ivan Herrera and outfielder Conner Capel. MLB.com beat writer John Denton said utility player Brendan Donovan has been taking balls at first base and may see time there in Toronto.
The loss of Goldschmidt and Arenado will surely make the series a difficult one for the Cardinals, who have relied heavily on the two to provide offensive firepower. The team will hope for solid outings from starting pitchers Andre Pallante and Adam Wainwright and for others in the lineup to step up offensively.