Cardinals scratch Kim (groin) from start

March 3rd, 2020

JUPITER, Fla. -- Kwang-Hyun Kim did not make his scheduled start in Monday's 6-1 win over the Twins at Roger Dean Stadium because he’s dealing with mild groin soreness, Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said.

Kim will throw a bullpen session Monday instead. That puts him on a trajectory to start one of the Cardinals’ split-squad games on Thursday if he recovers well following his bullpen. The Cardinals are being cautious and wanted to get ahead of any serious injury, prompting the change.

“It’s very mild,” Shildt said. “To say it’s nothing wouldn’t be accurate, because it’s something. But we moved KK back, and the training staff found it proactively, which I applaud. Just want to make complete sure that everything is fine.

“Zero arm-related. We’re being super, uber conservative on this.”

 Kim, 31, was signed in December to a two-year deal out of the Korean Baseball Organization. The left-hander is competing for a rotation spot and has not allowed a run in three innings (one start) this spring. He has five strikeouts and one walk.

The Cardinals' pitching schedule changed slightly with Kim’s switch Monday. Dakota Hudson will now start Tuesday, with club still reworking their rotation following him.

Cabrera leaves with injury
Génesis Cabrera, who started in Kim’s place Monday, exited in the second inning with a cracked fingernail on his pitching hand.

Cabrera said he threw a changeup in the second inning that cracked the fingernail. He issued a leadoff walk in the second, and catcher Yadier Molina noticed something wasn’t right after Cabrera threw a first-pitch ball to Royce Lewis. A team trainer, pitching coach Mike Maddux and Shildt went to the mound to check on Cabrera.

Shildt said Cabrera will have to get an acrylic nail applied and it will be three to four days before he can return to throwing.

“It’s going to be a couple of days before he starts playing catch,” Shildt said. “But no one is overly concerned about it.”

In one-plus innings of work, Cabrera threw 28 pitches, allowed one hit, walked two and struck out one. The 23-year-old left-hander is on a starter’s schedule this spring and could be a starter in Triple-A Memphis or end up in the St. Louis bullpen.

Roel Ramirez took over for Cabrera in the second with the Cardinals leading 1-0.

Brad Miller ‘feeling better’ after back stiffness scratch
Brad Miller said that he was scratched from Sunday’s 5-4 loss to the Astros as a precautionary measure. The 30-year-old utility infielder felt stiffness in his back when he arrived to the Cardinals' complex Sunday, and it didn’t go away when he took batting practice before the team left for West Palm Beach, Fla.

“Just want to ... take it easy and be cautious with it,” Miller said. “I’m glad I did. I’m glad I didn’t push it, kind of create something out of nothing. Just felt a little stiffness, wanted to get in the training room and kind of get it worked out and instead of pushing it right now.”

Miller did not hit Monday and will spend most of the next three days in the training room and weight room rather than on the practice fields or in the batting cages. He said it’s similar to the tightness that third baseman Matt Carpenter felt last week, and Carpenter was back in the lineup Monday after four days of rest.

“I’m really pleased with Carp, Brad, KK -- they’re able to say, ‘Look, it’s not bad, I could go if I had to, but something’s not quite feeling great,’” Shildt said. “You’re at that part of camp … so we’re just being really conservative, rightfully so, at a time where we need to be. We’re also working off a reserve of work from everyone who is in a really good place with where they are with their work and where they are in camp. Just being cautious.”

Worth noting
• Brett Cecil had his best game in a couple of years for the Cardinals on Monday, allowing one hit in a scoreless inning of relief. Cecil threw 16 strikes out of 22 pitches. The 33-year-old left-hander is working his way back to a bullpen role with the Cardinals after missing all of last year with carpal tunnel syndrome. Cecil has had up-and-down outings this spring, but Shildt called Monday’s “encouraging.”

“Better breaking ball, sharper, everything’s around the plate more,” Shildt said. “Coming out more free and easy, able to execute what he wants to do, was able to get outs. That’s the most important thing.”

• The Cardinals celebrated two birthdays in their clubhouse Monday: pitchers Johan Oviedo and Junior Fernandez. Fernandez, ranked as the Cardinals’ No. 9 prospect on MLB Pipeline, turned 23 and struck out the side Sunday against the Astros. Oviedo, the 12th-ranked prospect, turned 22 and pitched two scoreless innings in relief Monday.

Up next
The Cardinals stay in Jupiter on Tuesday and welcome the Astros and reigning American League Cy Young winner Justin Verlander at 1:05 p.m. ET. Hudson will start for the Cardinals and is scheduled for four innings. After the pitching schedule was tweaked Monday, it’s unknown yet who will follow Hudson on Tuesday. The game can be watched on Fox Sports Midwest and streamed on MLB.TV and Gameday Audio.