"MLB and the Club believe it is prudent to continue additional testing while players and staff are quarantined before the team returns to play," the league said in a statement, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
That makes it 18 games and counting that the Cardinals have had postponed, and it's simply no longer feasible that all of them will be rescheduled. The Cardinals have played just five games of the 60-game shortened season to this point, going 2-3, while most other teams have completed 16 games so far.
"I think whether you get all the way to 60 or not, that's difficult at this point," MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Monday. "I think it's possible for them to play enough games to be credible, to be a credible competitor in this season."
How many games they are able to play—and when they are able to return—remains up in the air, however. The threshold of games needed to be a "credible competitor" is also unknown.
"It's a bummer. We're learning as we go," Cardinals president John Mozeliak told reporters Sunday after the team's series against the Pittsburgh Pirates this week was postponed. "What's the right amount of time to not assemble to try and prevent the spread? I don't think we know that answer perfectly."
The outbreak for the Cardinals has been serious enough that several players have been hospitalized because of coronavirus symptoms:
Derrick S. Goold @dgoold
During his weekly interview on KMOX/1120 AM, #stlcards manager Mike Shildt reveals what has been asked often about: Some COVID-19 positive individuals with team have had to go to the Emergency Room due to symptoms. Team says none have remained hospitalized. Full quote: https://t.co/2Yn4t3B2Gp
But Manfred remains optimistic that the team will be able to resume play at some point this season.
"One hundred percent. I absolutely see a path back for the Cardinals," he said. "That is dependent on getting enough days with no positives that we're comfortable with, that we don't have a contagion risk. But, yes, 100 percent I see a path back."