The Cardinals have placed infielder Edmundo Sosa on the COVID-19-related injured list according to Jeff Jones of the Belleville News-Democrat. First baseman Juan Yepez has been called up to take Sosa’s spot on the roster, though he won’t join the team in Kansas City until tomorrow.
Sosa’s placement on the IL corresponds with a small COVID breakout among the Cardinals’ traveling party, as three staff members and a clubhouse attendant have also tested positive. Jones notes that Sosa is “mildly symptomatic” and will need to return a pair of negative tests and become asymptomatic before he is able to rejoin the team. Earlier today President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak claimed that the club is “probably 95%” vaccinated, which lends some hope that this will be the only COVID-themed transaction for the team this week.
The 26-year-old infielder heads to the IL having started just six of the team’s first 22 games. In that brief showing, Sosa has slashed a tepid .160/.250/.160 with an uncharacteristic 42.9% strikeout rate. The team’s active roster is now a bit light on shortstop depth, but should be able to weather Sosa’s absence with starting shortstop Paul DeJong and versatile second baseman Tommy Edman on hand.
The 24-year-old Yepez meanwhile will see his first taste of big league action since a surprise cameo last October. The right-handed hitter is expected to see some action off the bench and in the corner outfield during his call-up, with Paul Goldschmidt entrenched at first base. There’s a case to get Yepez as many at-bats as possible, as he’s continued last year’s tear through the upper minors and Arizona Fall League with an 8-homer, .960 OPS showing across 21 Triple-A games this year.