Injuries & Moves: Arenado (forearm), Siani (ribs) exit game

June 22nd, 2024

LATEST NEWS

June 22: 3B Nolan Arenado exits with left forearm discomfort
Arenado, who came into Saturday questionable to play because of a right elbow contusion, left Saturday’s game in the top of the eighth with left forearm discomfort. Arenado was jammed on a pitch that he grounded to third in the bottom of the seventh inning, and he wasn’t moving the arm as he jogged to first base.

Arenado missed the Cardinals' 6-5 win over the Giants on Thursday night at historic Rickwood Field after being hit in the right elbow with a pitch on Wednesday. Arenado tested the elbow on Saturday morning and was in the starting lineup after proving he could throw a ball across the diamond and swing a bat in the batting cage. He was 0-for-3 with a walk before departing the game.

June 22: CF Michael Siani's X-rays negative after leaving game with bruised ribs
Siani, who entered the game among the MLB leaders in Outs Above Average with plus-9, made another spectacular diving catch in Saturday’s third inning, but the hard landing on the Busch Stadium turf knocked him out of the game with bruised ribs. According to Statcast metrics, Siani covered 55 feet of room before diving to catch a sinking liner off the bat of Giants second baseman Thairo Estrada. The catch probability on the play was just 10 percent, per Statcast. Following the diving catch, Siani needed teammate Alec Burleson’s help to get to his feet and trainers assisted him off the field. His X-rays came back negative.

June 22: C Iván Herrera (lower back tightness) placed on the 10-day injured list; C Nick Raposo selected from Triple-A Memphis; RHP Keynan Middleton transferred to 60-day IL
Herrera, who had recently lost catching reps to rookie Pedro Pagés, was placed on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to June 19, because of lower back tightness. Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said that Herrera injured his back picking up an equipment bag. Herrera, who is hitting .279 with three homers and 19 RBIs in 54 games, was unavailable to play in Thursday’s Rickwood Field Game because of back pain.

Raposo, 26, has been in the Cardinals system for four years after going undrafted out of Division III Wheaton College. In 47 games this season with Triple-A Memphis, the 5-foot-10, 210-pound Raposo is hitting .187 with five home runs and 22 RBIs.

To make room on the 40-player roster for Raposo, the Cardinals transferred Middleton to the 60-day injured list. Middleton, who suffered a flexor strain in his right forearm in Spring Training, recently underwent surgery that will knock him out for the season. The prized free-agent signee made five Minor League appearances during a rehab stint, but he never pitched for the Cards this season.

June 21: RHP activated from the 15-day injured list; RHP optioned to Triple-A Memphis; OF returned to Memphis
Gallegos, who had been on the injured list since May 6 with a right shoulder impingement, was activated on Friday. Gallegos, who struggled earlier this season while compiling a 2-1 record and a 12.00 ERA over 13 appearances, rejoined the club in Miami on Monday, but the Cardinals waited until after Thursday night’s 6-5 win over the Giants at Rickwood Field to activate the veteran reliever.

Kloffenstein, 23, got word on Wednesday afternoon while throwing a bullpen session in Memphis that he was being promoted to big leagues for the first time. He made his MLB debut in Thursday’s eighth inning of a one-run game, retiring the Giants in order to earn his first MLB hold. This season with Triple-A Memphis, the 6-foot-5, 245-pound Kloffenstein -- who was acquired in a trade with the Blue Jays last July -- has gone 4-4 with a 3.97 ERA in 14 starts.

Scott II, who was the 27th player added for Thursday’s Rickwood Field Game, was returned to Triple-A Memphis. Scott, who played one inning of defense in Thursday’s win, made his MLB debut on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium after the Cardinals lost center fielders Tommy Edman, Dylan Carlson and Lars Nootbaar to injuries. He hit .085 with three doubles, two RBIs and two stolen bases in 21 big league games earlier in the season. In 45 games with Memphis, Scott has hit .194 with three home runs and 17 steals in 20 tries.

June 19: RHP activated from bereavement list, scratched from start; RHP optioned to Triple-A Memphis
Gibson was activated to make the start in the series finale vs. the Marlins on Wednesday but was scratched less than five minutes before first pitch, due to back tightness. Matthew Liberatore got the spot start instead.

Gibson said postgame that his back tightened up while he was stretching pregame, and as he continued through his routine, the muscle spasm was exacerbated to the point that he couldn’t rotate his left hip correctly when he went to throw.

“We found out maybe 15, 20 minutes before first pitch,” manager Oli Marmol said, “so gave Libby as much of a heads-up as possible. He went out there and I thought did a pretty good job for being called on minutes before first pitch.”

Loutos, who was activated to fill Gibson’s spot on the roster on Sunday, was not used in his two days with the club.

10-DAY/15-DAY INJURED LIST

LHP (lower back strain)
Expected return: August
Matz, who has been on the injured list since May 3, retroactive to May 1, with lingering back pain, was shut down for a second time after feeling more back tightness following his most recent Minor League start for Double-A Springfield on June 16. Matz struck out five and didn’t allow a hit over three innings pitched, but he experienced more back pain on June 17 and was told to refrain from baseball activities for two weeks.

That shutdown means that Matz will have to restart his throwing program again, meaning he is likely out for four to six weeks, manager Oliver Marmol said.

Matz, who signed a four-year, $44 million free-agent deal prior to the 2022 season, was 1-2 with a 6.18 ERA in six starts this season for the Cardinals. His 2022 and 2023 seasons in St. Louis were both marred by shoulder, knee and lat injuries. (Last updated: June 22)

RHP (cramping; No. 1 on Cardinals' Top 30 Prospects list)
Expected return: Late June
Hence, MLB Pipeline’s No. 48 prospect and the top-ranked player in the Cardinals system, left his June 5 start after two innings because of cramping, Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said. He struck out three and threw 20 of his 35 pitches for strikes. Hence, 21, was scheduled to return to action the weekend of June 22, but that was delayed by a day or two after he was invited to visit Rickwood Field with other Cardinals prospects for the Negro Leagues tribute game. For the season, Hence is 4-2 with a 3.19 ERA and 71 strikeouts in 53 2/3 innings pitched. (Last updated: June 20)

C (left forearm fracture)
Expected return:
Saturday
Contreras went 1-for-3 and scored a run as designated hitter in the first game of his rehab assignment at Triple-A Memphis on June 18. He is scheduled to catch five innings in the Redbirds' game on June 19. Contreras, who fractured his left forearm on May 7 upon getting hit by the bat of J.D. Martinez, was cleared to begin baseball activities the week of June 10 following a positive CT scan. He took batting practice at Busch Stadium the following weekend. (Last updated: June 18) More >>

RHP (right elbow inflammation)
Expected return: Late June
Robertson threw one inning (22 pitches) and allowed two runs on two hits and two walks in his first rehab appearance at Triple-A Memphis on June 18. Robertson, who was acquired in a trade with Boston on Dec. 8, is 0-0 with a 4.38 ERA in eight appearances this season. (Last updated: June 18)

OF (oblique strain)
Expected return: Late June
Nootbaar was placed on the 10-day IL, retroactive to May 30, on May 31 after straining his left oblique while checking a swing in the seventh inning of a win over the Reds. Nootbaar, who missed most of Spring Training and the first 13 games of this season with two fractured ribs, has now been on the IL five times in the past two seasons. He is hitting .234 with five home runs and 19 RBIs. (Last updated: May 31)

60-DAY INJURED LIST

RHP (right flexor tendon strain)
Expected return:
TBD
O’Brien, who hasn’t pitched since straining his right forearm on Opening Day against the Dodgers, underwent more testing on the condition of the flexor tendon in his right forearm earlier in the week, manager Oliver Marmol said. The scans were sent to famed surgeon Dr. Keith Meister for evaluations, and the Cardinals won’t develop a plan for O’Brien moving forward -- surgery or rehab -- until that consultation is complete, Marmol said.

O’Brien, who made the Opening Day roster after starring out of the bullpen in Spring Training, was shut down from pitching in games throughout April, May and some of June before throwing a live batting practice session (20 pitches) in Springfield last week.

Forearm pain returned for O’Brien following that outing, necessitating further testing and the consultation with Dr. Meister, who conducted the UCL “brace” surgery on Cardinals utility standout Brendan Donovan last fall. A “brace” procedure repairs and stabilizes the ulnar collateral ligament as opposed to a full replacement of the ligament, allowing for a shorter rehabilitation time. (Last updated: June 22)

RHP (right forearm flexor surgery)
Expected return:
2025
Middleton will undergo season-ending right flexor repair surgery, manager Oliver Marmol said on June 4.

“In order for him to have any shot of being ready for 2025, it’s the best option, so his season will be over,” Marmol said.

After spending several weeks rehabilitating and strengthening his forearm, Middleton recently made five appearances and compiled a 2.25 ERA for Double-A Springfield. However, pain returned in the forearm following relief appearances on May 22-23. He was transferred to the 60-day IL on June 22. (Last updated: June 22)

CF (right wrist surgery)
Expected return: Early July
While the Cardinals are on the road, Edman will get in work at the Cardinals' complex in Jupiter, Fla. It is not a rehab assignment, but rather a chance for Edman to work out and maintain a baseball mindset while the club isn't in St. Louis.

"It's just better for him to be around guys down there and more coaches, more baseball going on to get him ready for an assignment," manager Oliver Marmol said on June 18.

"He didn't have a Spring Training, so being down there and get some [work in], while people are hitting BP he can track balls, he can stand in on a bullpen -- there's just more for him down there. So mentally preparing him for baseball, I think it's a better environment than just being with the training staff rehabbing in St. Louis while we're on the road."

Edman, a 2021 Gold Glover at second base and a Gold Glove utility fielder finalist in '22 and '23, has yet to play this season after having surgery on his wrist last October. (Last updated: June 18) More >>

LHP (left shoulder surgery)
Expected return:
September
Rom, who was acquired last July in a trade with the Orioles, underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder that might allow him to return later this season, manager Oliver Marmol said. Marmol dubbed the procedure as “a best-case scenario,” and is hopeful Rom can return in the fall.

Rom, 24, made three starts in Spring Training before being put on the injured list with shoulder trouble. He was later moved to the 60-day IL.

After being acquired in the trade centered around Jack Flaherty, Rom made his MLB debut in 2023 with the Cardinals. In eight starts, Rom was 1-4 with an 8.06 ERA. His first MLB win was over the Orioles in Baltimore. (Last updated: May 9)