The Cardinals announced on Friday afternoon that starter Adam Wainwright has been placed on the COVID-19 injured list. Steven Matz, who had been on bereavement leave, has been reinstated to take his spot on the active roster.
Wainwright has tested positive for the virus, reports John Denton of MLB.com. The veteran righty took to Twitter to announce that he feels “100% with zero symptoms.” Nevertheless, because he tested positive, he’ll have to go through the standard isolation procedure before he’s cleared to return to the team. Wainwright becomes the second Cardinal in recent days to land on the virus-related IL, joining infielder Edmundo Sosa.
Under the league’s 2022 health and safety protocols, players who test positive are subject to a 10-day absence from the club. It’s possible to be reinstated in less time if the player has gone 24 or more hours without a fever, received a pair of negative PCR tests and been given approval from a team physician and the MLB/MLBPA joint committee (a panel of one league-appointed and one union-appointed physician).
Even in his age-40 season, Wainwright is still a highly valuable contributor for the Cards. He owns a 3.18 ERA over 34 innings, compensating for an early dip in swinging strikes by inducing plenty of ground balls. The Cardinals have an off day on Monday, the day before what would’ve been Wainwright’s next scheduled start. It’s possible they keep their other starters on regular rest and only need to fill in once for Wainwright late next week.