The St. Louis Cardinals are beginning a series against the Toronto Blue Jays in Canada.
As it has become evident this season, Canada does not allow foreign unvaccinated players to travel to the country and play.
As a result, players who haven’t received the COVID-19 vaccine have to be placed on the restricted list.
We have seen it this season with several stars and high-profile players.
Now, it’s the Cardinals’ turn.
Three players are set to miss the trip to Canada because of their vaccination status, and two of them happen to be among the best players in baseball: third baseman Nolan Arenado and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.
The two sluggers are NL MVP candidates because of their excellent play, particularly Goldschmidt.
However, they are going to leave their team short-handed in a critical series against a good team.
Catcher Austin Romine will also miss the flight to Canada.
The Cards Will Miss Their Best Players
St. Louis is currently 2.5 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers for the top spot in the NL Central, and they could really use their two best players against a tough AL East foe.
The Cardinals are not only losing their two best performers: they are losing two of the best players in MLB.
2022 NL Batting WAR Leaders
Paul Goldschmidt (5.3)
Nolan Arenado (5.1)
Austin Riley (4.3)
Tommy Edman (4.3)
All Leaders: https://t.co/xJJY5xv1C8
— Baseball Reference (@baseball_ref) July 25, 2022
The numbers don’t lie:
“2022 NL Batting WAR Leaders: Paul Goldschmidt (5.3); Nolan Arenado (5.1); Austin Riley (4.3); Tommy Edman (4.3),” Baseball Reference tweeted.
Three of those players are on the Cardinals roster (Edman, too), but the first two are the ones missing the trip.
Team president John Mozeliak spoke about the players’ status to MLB.com.
“I did talk to Nolan recently about this, and he noted [at this time] that he was hoping to begin a family with his wife, and for him, it was a personal decision, and we honor that. With regard to Goldy, I checked in on him, but we never had a lengthy discussion on it. I spoke with him a year and a half ago about it, and of course, I understood his thinking then. I never had any discussion with Mr. Romine.”