After losing ace Chris Carpenter due to nerve irritation in his right shoulder during Spring Training, the St. Louis Cardinals have continued to watch player after player fall to injury, resulting in a less-than-ideal start to the season.
The Redbirds have lost 13 of the last 21 games entering Saturday and six players have been placed on the disabled list without return in the last month alone.
Jon Jay was the first to start the trend after hitting the wall and spraining his right shoulder. The club announced June 1 that he will be shut down for seven to 10 days in an attempt to reduce the inflammation and would then begin rehabilitation. There have been no updates since on his condition.
St. Louis then lost three more in just as many days as Kyle McClellan entered the disabled list with a strained ulnar collateral ligament and a partly torn flexor muscle near his right elbow and Skip Schumaker strained his right hamstring, both out indefinitely.
Following Schumaker was first basemen Lance Berkman in one of the more upsetting losses the team has suffered yet. Berkman’s torn meniscus in his right knee resulted in arthroscopic knee surgery, leaving him to miss 8-10 weeks for rehabilitation in Houston.
And three days later, disappointment struck again. Rookie Matt Carpenter was placed on the disabled list for a strained right oblique. Carpenter was hitting .288 with three home runs and 20 RBIs. Despite being out for injury, he is still tied for the fourth most RBIs among National League rookies.
The final injury thus far was starting pitcher Jamie Garcia, with a strained left shoulder. Although he will not require surgery, he may be sidelined for two months for rehabilitation – another big blow to the Cardinals’ starting rotation.
Despite the rocky streak, Cardinals’ manager Mike Matheny is remaining optimistic, telling reports he expects the team to turn things around soon.
“It really comes down to everybody understanding that we’ve got a lot of talent around here. It’s just a matter of us getting together and putting together a good run. We really haven’t been on to what I believe this team can do,” said Matheny. “We’ve got a good team and a lot of baseball left to play.”
The organization has announced rookie Matt Carpenter will soon begin his rehab assignment and hopefully return to playing shortly after. It has also been reported ace Chris Carpenter has began pitching on the mound. He recently threw 26 fastballs in the Cardinals bullpen and reported no troubles afterwards.
St. Louis is currently .508 and four games out behind first place Cincinnati Reds. But there’s no need to get worried just yet, Cardinal fans. There is still plenty of time for a comeback. After all, remember last year?