St. Louis Cardinals stars Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt can’t play in Toronto series due to COVID-19 vaccination status

The St. Louis Cardinals will be without All-Star infielders Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt for their two-game series against the Blue Jays in Toronto this week due to Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination rules, it said Sunday. President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak to reporters.

Receiver Austin Romine will also miss the series as he is not vaccinated against COVID-19.

To enter the country, the Canadian government requires a person to have received a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine – or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine – at least 14 days prior to entry.

All three players will be placed on the shortlist and will not be paid or accrue major league service time for the two games, according to a March agreement between Major League Baseball and the players’ association.

Arenado will lose $384,416, Goldschmidt $241,758 and Romine $10,989.

Mozeliak said all three players will be replaced on the roster by receiver Ivan Herrera, outfielder Conner Capel and outfielder/outfielder Cory Spangenberg in the series, which takes place Tuesday and Wednesday.

Entering Sunday, Goldschmidt leads the Cardinals in batting average (.333), home runs (22), RBIs (74), on-base percentage (.416) and slugging percentage (.603). Arenado is second on the team in average (.299), home runs (18), RBIs (59) and slugging percentage (.534) and third in on-base percentage (.363).

Also on Sunday, the Cardinals placed left-handed starter Steven Matz on the 15-day injured list with a sprained left knee. Matz (4-3, 5.70 ERA) quit his Saturday start against the Cincinnati Reds in the sixth inning after trying to field a dribbler on the first base line. Right-hander James Naile was recalled from Triple-A Memphis in a corresponding move.

The Cardinals (51-45) entered second place in National League Central on Sunday, 1½ games behind the Milwaukee Brewers, who finished first.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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