Injuries & Roster Moves: LeBlanc, Elledge

June 17th, 2021

Keep track of the Cardinals’ recent transactions and injury updates throughout the season.

ROSTER MOVES

June 17: LHP signed to a contract
The Cardinals announced Thursday that they signed the veteran lefty to a free-agent contract ahead of their three-game series in Atlanta. LeBlanc appeared in six Major League games in April for the Orioles, posting a 9.45 ERA through 6 2/3 innings pitched. St. Louis will be the fourth MLB team LeBlanc will have some form of a contract with this season. He was most recently signed to a Minor League contract with the Texas Rangers and pitched for Triple-A Round Rock.

June 17: RHP optioned to Triple-A Memphis
The Cardinals optioned Elledge to the Redbirds to make room on the 40-man roster after signing Wade LeBlanc. Elledge has averaged a 5.40 ERA in his 10 innings with St. Louis this season.

INJURY UPDATES

Day to day

2B/SS (right hand contusion)
Expected return:
TBD
Sosa left Wednesday’s finale against the Marlins a half-inning after taking a 97.4 mph sinker flush off the right hand/wrist area, hopping around behind the batter’s box in clear pain. He remained in the game to take first base, but was removed in the top of the eighth. X-rays on Sosa’s hand were negative, and he will continue to be evaluated, but manager Mike Shildt was optimistic with the initial outlook. (Last updated: June 16)

10-day IL

RHP (left oblique strain)
Expected return: July/August
Flaherty has resumed some very light throwing on the field as of June 16, still far off from a rigid timeline but taking his first public step forward from the injury. The right-hander will prioritize his throwing motions for the time being before he’s given the green light to ramp up activity.

All this comes after the ace was removed from his start after five innings on May 31, sensing tightness creep in during his last frame on the mound and then feeling a more visceral tweak to his left side in his final at-bat in the top of the sixth. Further testing on June 1 revealed a left oblique strain, which consisted of a tear that was said to keep the right-hander out for "some time." Flaherty will have to build up and likely go out on a rehab assignment before he can return. (Last updated: June 16)

OF (neck strain)
Expected return: Mid-to-late-June
With his neck loosened up appropriately, Williams was sent on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Memphis, where he went 2-for-5 with a triple and RBI in his first two games on June 12 and 13. He’s set for two more before the Cardinals re-evaluate him. St. Louis has been looking for its outfielder to "get consistency with this number of at-bats and his quality of at-bats," manager Mike Shildt said.

Williams felt his neck tense up on the flight back from Los Angeles on June 2, after he hit .122 (9-for-74) in the last 33 games before he went down. (Last updated: June 15)

CF (right rib hairline fracture)
Expected return: Late Lune/early July

Bader has resumed light baseball activities, including tracking balls in the outfield, and is set to increase some of the behind his swings as he slowly ramps up. Bader has been hampered by the lingering soreness that comes with rib fractures, but it now appears to be dissipating, manager Mike Shildt said. The outfielder is not expected to join the team on the trip to Atlanta and Detroit, and he will likely need a Minor League rehab assignment before he’s able to be activated. When that comes will determine Bader’s recovery from each phase of the ramp-up period.

Bader fractured the rib when he rolled over a ball while trying to make a diving catch on May 24 but was a stabilizing presence in the lineup before doing so, except for a mini-skid at the end of May. All of this comes after the center fielder missed almost the entire first month of the season with a right forearm strain. (Last updated: June 15)

RHP (mid-back spasms)
Expected return:
Late June
Whitley is back to playing catch, is slowly ramping up the intensity and is around four to six days away from a return to a mound, manager Mike Shildt said. The club’s priority has been a stabilization from the ailment, which popped up as “a point of trauma” during the trip to Arizona at the end of May. (Last updated: June 14)

60-day IL

2B (left shoulder subluxation)
Expected return:
2022
The Cardinals transferred Moroff to the 60-day IL on June 17 to make room on the 40-man roster. Moroff had been placed on the 10-day IL on May 29, then he had opted for season-ending surgery on his left shoulder on June 6. It will likely take the Cardinals infielder about seven months to recover from the surgery. (Last updated: June 17)

RHP (right elbow inflammation)
Expected return:
August
Hicks continues to refrain from throwing but is said to be progressing without hiccups as of June 16 and has “a big smile on his face,” manager Mike Shildt said. Still allowing an injection into his right elbow to take full effect, he’s expected to resume some baseball activities in the near future, though the club is going to be cautious in returning the 24-year-old to the mound given that this was his first action back since June 2019 (Tommy John surgery, opt-out of the ’20 season). For both Hicks and Miles Mikolas, the All-Star break will be a barometer for a clearer timeline, though August has been said to be a best-case scenario. (Last updated: June 16)

RHP (right forearm tightness)
Expected return:
August
Mikolas, who on May 22 exited his first start since the 2019 NLCS after just four innings, also continues to be in rest mode but appears to be closing in on resuming light catch as of June 16. The club feels it now has a clearer internal timeline for the right-hander, after a second opinion on his forearm in the last week of May showed no structural damage to the UCL or a flexor tendon tear. Barring any setbacks, the Cardinals expect Mikolas to pitch again later this season, with August serving as a best-case scenario. (Last updated: June 16)

RHP (Tommy John surgery)
Expected return:
September (if at all)
Hudson continues to play catch and go through his recovery program as he rehabs from the September 2020 surgery in his right elbow. Manager Mike Shildt said on June 12 that Hudson "has got in his head" the belief that he can contribute to the Cardinals by the end of the season, likely in a relief role, with support of the medical staff. Whether that is able to occur will be a matter of time, but Hudson continues to track well for a return by Opening Day 2022, at the very least. (Last updated: June 12)