MINNEAPOLIS -- Injuries continue to hamper the Cardinals' pitching staff and complicate Luke Gregerson's first season in St. Louis. The veteran right-hander became the fourth Cards hurler to land on the disabled list in a span of a week on Wednesday, when the club placed him there due to an
MINNEAPOLIS -- Injuries continue to hamper the Cardinals' pitching staff and complicate Luke Gregerson's first season in St. Louis. The veteran right-hander became the fourth Cards hurler to land on the disabled list in a span of a week on Wednesday, when the club placed him there due to an impingement in his right shoulder.
Gregerson is also suffering from elbow soreness, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny revealed.
Right-hander John Brebbia was recalled from Triple-A Memphis in a corresponding move.
"We gave him a little break for the last few days, because there are some times he gets a little bark in his arm," Matheny said of Gregerson. "We'd like to get figured out what's going on. Guys like Luke, who have pitched as much as he has, sometimes they throw through things, and it works out as they go. But it's just not working out. He's not able to finish pitches he needs to. In general, he just can't get over that hump right now."
Signed to a two-year deal over the winter in part to tie up late-inning situations against right-handed hitters, Gregerson has had his start in St. Louis stalled by minor injuries. Oblique and hamstring injuries truncated his spring and delayed his season. Once healthy again, Gregerson pitched to an 8.64 ERA across 12 appearances.
Most recently, Gregerson allowed two runs in one-third of an inning in Tuesday's 4-1 loss to the Twins, when his throwing error allowed the game-winning run to score.
"I think its been a culmination of things," said Gregerson, who will undergo an MRI on Thursday in St. Louis. "I'm planning to be back sooner than later. A little rest, a little rehab, and try to knock this thing out."
When right over the coarse of his 10-year career, the sinker-slider-heavy Gregerson excelled against righties. This season, that success has largely escaped him. Righties are hitting .333/.368/.611 against Gregerson, compared to their .202/.250/.329 lifetime marks off him.
Gregerson joins a group of injured pitchers that also includes Adam Wainwright, Carlos Martinez, Tyler Lyons and Dominic Leone.
One of a handful of optionable Cardinals relievers, the club has aggressively brought Brebbia back and forth from Memphis. This will be the righty's fifth big league stint this season. He's gone 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA over 10 innings across six appearances.
Martinez getting checked out
Martinez is scheduled to undergo an additional MRI to test the progress of his strained right lat on Thursday, Matheny said.
The Cardinals' ace will be eligible to return from the DL this weekend, and he will be in line to start Saturday against the Phillies, though he looks unlikely to do so. The Cards are preparing for John Gant to start that day.
Breakout performances from William Fowler and Matt Carpenter came after Fowler returned to the lineup following a two-day absence, and with Carpenter batting unusually low in the order.
Carpenter hit seventh in St. Louis' 7-5 win over the Twins, marking the first time he's hit lower than third this season. The last time Carpenter hit lower than fourth in any game was July 22, 2015.
Carpenter raised his batting average from .140 to .160 with a three-hit day that included two doubles. Fowler increased his from .146 to .158 with a 2-for-3 afternoon, during which he reached base four times.
Who's to blame?
Prior to his lineup's breakout afternoon, Matheny spent some of Wednesday morning defending hitting coach John Mabry and assistant hitting coach Bill Mueller.
Shortly after, Carpenter and Fowler were integral to a 13-hit attack the Cardinals used to fight past the Twins. Still, one good day doesn't override weeks of struggles. The club still ranks near the bottom across baseball in hitting (.230, 27th), on-base-percentage (.315, 20th) and slugging (.383, 26th).
"That's part of the world we live in, but it doesn't change how we go about our business," Matheny said. "Our guys do a fantastic job. They are relentlessly helping guys get through any problem they're having. They're working as well and as hard as anybody we've ever seen. They stay the course, like the hitters. Keep working and stuff is going to come out in the end. I keep reminding the guys where we are in the season. It's still early. If you think we're going to be 28th in slugging by the end of the season, it's just not going to happen. We have too good of a team.
"Now, do we just sit back and sit on our hands and say, 'It'll all take care of itself'? The answer is no. We have to continue to work. But it's not a work in panic or a work to diffuse what people think and say. It's what we do. We go about our business the right way for the right reasons, and trust the fact that it'll work out."
Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.