Injuries & Roster Moves: Kim back Tuesday

June 14th, 2021

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

ROSTER MOVES

June 14: Signed RHP Paul Schwendel and LHPs Kevin Marnon and Sean Kealey to Minor League contracts
Schwendel, 31, who owned a 1.08 ERA with the Chicago Dogs of the independent American Association, will report to High-A Peoria. Marnon, 27, also formerly with the Dogs and the Twins’ organization, and Kealey, 23, from the Washington WildThings in the independent Frontier League, will both head to Low-A Palm Beach.

June 12: Signed RHP Cory Thompson and LHP Kevin McGovern to Minor League contracts
Thompson, 26, was a fifth-round Draft pick by the Reds in 2013, last pitching with the Winnipeg Goldeyes in the independent American Association. He was assigned to High-A Peoria. McGovern, 32, has spent parts of 10 seasons in independent ball, with a 1.41 ERA for the American Association's Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks this year, and he will he head to Double-A Springfield.

June 11: Sent OF (neck strain) on rehab assignment to Triple-A Memphis
Williams will play in a to-be-determined number of games with Memphis, after he's been sidelined since June 3 due to a neck strain sustained on the flight back from Los Angeles.

INJURY UPDATES

10-day IL

LHP (right lower back tightness)
Expected return: Tuesday
Kim will start Tuesday’s tilt with the Marlins to mark his first outing since sustaining his back injury on June 4. All told, it will be just one missed turn in the rotation for Kim, after he recovered well from an aggressive between-starts-type bullpen session on June 13 at Wrigley Field following one on June 11 as well.

All this comes after Kim was pulled from his outing against the Reds on June 4, when he "jarred" something while trying to beat out a grounder as a batter. It's the same ailment that sidelined the lefty in Spring Training for two weeks. (Last updated: June 14)

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)

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'll look to "get consistency with this number of at-bats and his quality of at-bats," manager Mike Shildt said. The outfielder 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 12)

CF (right rib hairline fracture)
Expected return: Second half of June
Bader's return is going to take a "little bit longer than than we anticipated," manager Mike Shildt said on June 8, as the center fielder "just hasn't gotten over that proverbial hump yet" from the rib fracture to allow a ramp-up of baseball activities. Bader continues to rest, and the longer he remains away from baseball activities, the longer his ensuing ramp-up period will be, Shildt acknowledged.

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, around 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 8)

2B (left shoulder subluxation)
Expected return:
2022
Moroff underwent season-ending surgery on his left shoulder on June 8. He sustained the injury while taking pregame batting practice and went on the IL on May 29 (retroactive to May 27), after the barrel of his bat caught the netting inside the cage on the backswing. It's a tough blow for the 28-year-old journeyman, who had a chance to seize some playing time after getting off to a torrid start with Memphis. (Last updated: June 8)

RHP (left oblique strain)
Expected return: July/August
Flaherty 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 batter's box in the top of the sixth. Further testing on June 1 revealed a left oblique strain, which manager Mike Shildt said will keep the right-hander out for "some time." President of baseball operations John Mozeliak said that Flaherty will continue evaluations, but a return in August would be a best-case scenario. Regardless, it's the first IL stint of Flaherty's five-year Major League career. (Last updated: June 3)

60-day IL

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)

RHP (right elbow inflammation)
Expected return:
August
Hicks, on the 60-day IL, is currently refraining from throwing as he allows for an injection into his right elbow to take effect. He’s expected to resume some baseball activities in mid-June, though the club is going to be cautious in returning the 24-year-old to the mound, given 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 3)

RHP (right forearm tightness)
Expected return:
August
Mikolas, who on May 22 exited his first start since the 2019 NLCS after just four innings, received a second opinion on his right forearm with Dr. James Andrews on May 26. The results from the second opinion showed no structural damage to the UCL or a flexor tendon tear. Manager Mike Shildt said Mikolas, who's on the 60-day injured list, will not pick up a baseball for the next four to six weeks. Barring any setbacks, the Cardinals expect Mikolas to pitch again later this season, with August serving as a best-case scenario. (Last updated: June 3)