Cubs plan workouts to stay sharp with weekend series postponed because of COVID-19
The Cubs will have workouts on Sunday and Monday before heading to Cleveland on Tuesday morning to face the Indians.
Saturday was a quiet day for the Cubs after Friday’s whirlwind in St. Louis. The Cubs’ three-game series against the Cardinals was postponed after three more members of the Cardinals’ organization tested positive for COVID-19.
The positive tests increased the number of Cards players and staff infected during the latest outbreak to 16. The weekend postponement was the first time the Cubs have experienced a change in their schedule attributable to the coronavirus.
“Overall, it’s just another one of those reminders of how quickly things can get out of control right now in this environment,” manager David Ross said. “It’s a little bit of a reset for us. Take a couple of days, and we’ll get back to get some workouts in, then get back to focusing on Cleveland when we play on Tuesday.
“We feel like it’s just a little bit of a break, and we have to continue to try to stay as sharp as we possibly can, maybe work on a few things we might want to clean up in this downtime and use it to our advantage as best we can.”
The Cubs had a light day of work with some pitchers playing catch, while others continued their regularly scheduled bullpen sessions. The team will have full workouts on Sunday and Monday before traveling Tuesday morning to Cleveland.
Ross and the coaching staff will add what he describes as “something fun” for his team as part of the workout on Monday.
Friday’s delay and subsequent postponement could have been tough for a team to endure, but the Cubs got through it smoothly as MLB sorted through the Cardinals’ situation.
The team flew into St. Louis late Thursday night after the game in Kansas City.
Ross received word on Friday morning of the situation and the possibility of a postponement before official word came down from MLB hours later.
Vijay Tekchandani, the Cubs’ director of travel and clubhouse operations and newly appointed COVID compliance officer, helped ensure the team didn’t have to be stuck in St. Louis all day.
By the time the sun went down, the Cubs were back in Chicago.
“Vijay, again, was on top of things and had the plane ready,” Ross said. “United did a really good job of getting us a plane really fast. . . . There’s a lot of logistics there, sitting around a hotel, and you can’t go anywhere with food. Our nutritionist was on top of things, getting food in there that she wasn’t expecting to have. Made sure the guys were fed.
‘‘Vijay set up an outdoor area for the guys to hang out. Just a lot of adjustments on their part and making sure everybody was comfortable and had some downtime.
“All in all, Major League Baseball was phenomenal. I mean, we got back here at a decent hour and had the night to ourselves. [Everything] was handled really well.”
It’s going to be a quiet weekend for Ross with no games to manage. He likely will do some advanced scouting of the Indians, who are playing the White Sox this weekend, while hanging out with his dog, Maya.
‘‘That’s kind of my nights, just sitting on the couch with my dog and watching baseball and highlights and catching a game,” he said.
“We’ll definitely have baseball on, try to get a nice meal delivered and just hang out with myself. I’m pretty awesome by myself.”