Injuries & Moves: Contreras (left wrist) heading to IL

September 21st, 2023


Sept. 21: C (left wrist tendinitis) headed to injured list
St. Louis will place last offseason’s prime free-agent acquisition on the 10-day injured list, manager Oliver Marmol announced after Thursday afternoon’s 6-0 loss to the Brewers. A corresponding roster move will be announced before Friday’s series opener against the Padres at Petco Park.

An MRI exam on Thursday revealed that Contreras' season is over due to left wrist tendinitis. Conteras felt something grab during his last at-bat against the Brewers in the sixth inning on Wednesday and he was replaced on defense to start the seventh.

Contreras’ first season in St. Louis ends prematurely, but on a performance uptick after a choppy start. He finishes the year with 20 home runs -- the fifth time he’s reached that plateau -- and his .825 OPS marks his best season in that category since 2019. More >>


10-day and 15-day IL

INF/OF Alec Burleson (left thumb fracture)
Expected return: 2024
On Sept. 19, Burleson hit a high-and-away pitch for a ground-rule double that plated Lars Nootbaar in the bottom of the first inning. Burleson then stole third base, but he jammed his thumb on the bag as he slid in head-first. Cardinals head athletic trainer Adam Olsen and manager Oliver Marmol came out to check on Burleson, who stayed in the game.

After scoring on a Nolan Arenado sacrifice fly, Burleson headed down the tunnel to the clubhouse to have his thumb X-rayed, and the fracture was revealed. On Sept. 20, he was placed on the 10-day injured list and had surgery, where a stabilizing pin was inserted, according to Marmol. (Last updated: Sept. 20)

OF (lingering ankle soreness, oblique strain)
Expected return: 2024
Carlson was placed on the 10-day injured list on Aug. 12 because of a left oblique strain. He also dealt with a left ankle injury he sustained in May, and he received a pain-killing injection in that ankle on Aug. 21.

Carlson resumed light baseball activity in mid-September before deciding to undergo arthroscopic surgery on the ankle on Sept. 13. He recently had the operation to remove bone spurs from his left ankle in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Last updated: Sept. 20)

RHP (right rotator cuff tendinitis)
Expected return: 2024
Gallegos, one of the Cardinals' most durable relievers over the past five seasons, was placed on the 15-day injured list on Sept. 18, effectively ending his season. In one-third of an inning in the Cardinals' 6-5 defeat of the Phillies on Sept. 17, Gallegos surrendered one run on a solo home run to Alec Bohm -- the 11th long ball the right-hander had allowed this season.

That outing ended a stretch of four straight scoreless appearances and six of seven where Gallegos had blanked foes. In 56 outings this season, Gallegos had a 2-4 record with a 4.42 ERA. He notched 10 saves and a team-best 20 holds, but he also blew six save opportunities. (Last updated: Sept. 18)

OF Tyler O'Neill (right foot sprain)
Expected return: Likely 2024
O'Neill was placed on the 10-day IL on Sept. 17, likely ending his 2023 season. He also dealt with back and knee injuries, limiting him to 72 games this season. O'Neill has hit .231 with nine home runs and 21 RBIs in 2023. (Last updated: Sept. 17)

LHP (left knee tendinitis)
Expected return:
Week of Sept. 18-24
Romero’s return to the Cardinals' bullpen will likely be pushed back to the middle of next week because he is still dealing with instability and weakness in a left knee that landed him on the 15-day injured list, manager Oliver Marmol said on Sept. 16.

Romero, who compiled a 4-2 record with three saves while emerging as one of the team’s most reliable relievers late in the season, is scheduled to throw a side bullpen session on Sept. 17 and then his status will be reevaluated. (Last updated: Sept. 16)

2B (right hamstring strain)
Expected return: Possibly late September
Gorman sustained a Grade 2 right hamstring strain legging out an infield grounder on Sept. 12 and landed on the injured list the following day. The Cardinals hope it doesn’t end his season, but if it does, they are excited about the strides Gorman, 23, took in his second big league season. At the time of the injury, Gorman had an .800 OPS and a team-leading 27 homers in 119 games.

“Especially with the way he ended last season and not having an answer for fastballs at the top of the zone and the way they were pitching him, for him to make the adjustments he did in the offseason and do what he did this year, he answered a lot of questions,” manager Oliver Marmol said. “This kid is the real deal. He’s going to hit for a long time.” (Last updated: Sept. 13)

LHP Steven Matz (left lat strain)
Expected return:
Likely 2024
Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol acknowledged for the first time on Sept. 3 that Matz is unlikely to pitch for the club again this season. Matz still hasn’t begun throwing since he went on the injured list on Aug. 14, retroactive to Aug. 13, due to a strained muscle near his left shoulder.

“It’s getting pretty darn tight, to be quite honest. Probably not,” Marmol said. “But I still want to keep the week-to-week progress going and see where we’re at.”

If Matz does return, it would be as a reliever, Marmol said, though the club still is penciling him in as a starter for 2024. (Last updated: Sept. 3)

60-day IL

RHP (right forearm strain)
Expected return: TBD
Zuñiga was recalled on Aug. 25 from Triple-A Memphis after right-hander Drew VerHagen was placed on the bereavement list. Zuñiga last pitched on Aug. 19 against the Mets, allowing one run over one inning. He began feeling pain in the forearm during a bullpen session shortly before landing on the IL.

Zuñiga was transferred to the 60-day IL on Sept. 2. (Last updated: Sept. 2)

INF/OF (right elbow surgery)
Expected return: Spring Training 2024
Donovan underwent season-ending surgery on Aug. 2 to repair the damaged ligament in his right elbow. Donovan was a candidate for the interior brace procedure -- one that repairs and anchors the ligament -- rather than Tommy John surgery.

Donovan should be ready for the start of Spring Training in 2024, manager Oliver Marmol said. For the season, Donovan hit .284 with a career-best .787 OPS after smashing 11 home runs and 10 doubles and driving in 34 runs. (Last updated: Sept. 1)

RHP (right shoulder pain)
Expected return: September
Rodriguez, a Rule 5 Draft selection from the Yankees who was supposed to contend for a spot in the Cardinals' bullpen, had what was expected to be season-ending surgery on his right shoulder on May 3, according to manager Oliver Marmol at the time, but the 33-year-old Rodriguez threw a bullpen session on Aug. 10, and Marmol hoped that the righty could begin a rehab assignment by the end of August.

Rodriguez appeared in seven Spring Training games, but he opened the regular season on the injured list because of recurring shoulder pain. He made three appearances with Triple-A Memphis, but pain eventually returned in his shoulder. (Last updated: Aug. 11)

LHP Packy Naughton (left forearm strain)
Expected return: 2024
Naughton was forced to leave the April 7 loss to the Brewers in the eighth inning with numbness in his left arm. Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said on June 19 that Naughton would undergo surgery on June 26, sidelining the left-hander for the remainder of 2023. (Last updated: June 19)