ST. LOUIS -- His arm strength compromised all season by a right shoulder impingement, Cardinals outfielder Marcell Ozuna received a cortisone injection on Wednesday and will now sit until September.
The Cardinals decided to place Ozuna on the 10-day disabled list after his visit to Los Angeles-based physician Neal ElAttrache, who recommended the injection. Ozuna will resume baseball activities in about a week and hopes to be ready to return when rosters expand on Sept. 1.
"It will give him the freedom to compete the way he needs to compete," interim manager Mike Shildt said. "This is something that had been impeding him a little bit, offensively and defensively, and he was working through. It just got to a point where we can be proactive and get it behind him."
Though Ozuna hasn't felt at full strength since Spring Training, discomfort had increased in recent weeks. He described the issue as "tendinitis" when speaking to reporters earlier this month and acknowledged that he's had to be selective about when he throws at full strength. And even when he has, Ozuna isn't getting near the zip on his throws that he once did.
Four years after averaging 92.1 mph on the top 10 percent of his throws, Ozuna has seen that average drop to 77.7 mph this year. According to Statcast™ data, his arm strength ranks last among all outfielders with a minimum 75 throws this season.
"I don't think we can fully appreciate and internally appreciate what he has dealt with for some period of time now," Shildt said. "We can appreciate the fact that this guy is a warrior and he's been getting after it the whole time. He's been dealing with a lot of discomfort, playing through it and playing well through it."
The Cardinals made a series of additional roster moves on Wednesday as they activated Yairo Munoz from the DL, optioned right-hander Daniel Poncedeleon to Triple-A Memphis and added Matt Adams, who was claimed off waivers from the Nationals, to the 25-man roster.
Poncedeleon departs following a four-inning no-decision on Tuesday. With an off-day on Thursday and another on Monday, the Cardinals won't need a fifth starter until Sept. 1. Poncedeleon will be eligible to return on that date, which is also when rosters expand.
In the interim, Poncedeleon is expected to make one start with Memphis. The Cardinals can decide later whether it'll be Poncedeleon, Luke Weaver, Tyson Ross or perhaps even Michael Wacha who fills that fifth rotation spot.
Wong's Gold Glove stump speech
One night after making another spectacular defensive play in the Cardinals' 5-2 win over the Dodgers, Kolten Wong made it clear where he thinks he should rank among those receiving Gold Glove consideration.
"I think MLB should realize that if I don't win the Gold Glove there's something wrong with it," Wong said. "It needs to be somebody who deserves it instead of a publicity contest. You know how it goes. I was kind of disappointed I wasn't even a finalist last year. I'm not holding my breath to see if I'm a Gold Glove winner. In my heart, I believe that I am, and I'm going to continue to play like that."
It's an award that Wong has never won, though he's had it in his sights for some time. He's been an above-average second baseman for several years, but this year, Wong's play in the field has registered as elite. He entered Wednesday ranked second in the Majors -- among all players at all positions -- with 18 Defensive Runs Saved, per FanGraphs.
The last Cardinals second baseman to win the defensive honor was Fernando Vina in 2002.
"Obviously, I'm not having the best offensive year. I know that," he said. "But if it's called the Gold Glove, it should be about the glove, I feel like. It's not about who can swing it the best and play a little bit of defense. If you look at defensive stats, I lead every single category at second base. The decision should be easy, but at the end of the day, I'm not making the decision. I'm not going to hold my breath on the decision. I'm not going to judge how good a defensive player I am on the decision. I know I can play this position just as good or better than anybody else."
Adam Wainwright threw three more scoreless innings on Wednesday as part of his rehab assignment with Double-A Springfield. Wainwright scattered two hits, walked none, struck out three and threw 29 of his 44 pitches for strikes. In four total rehab appearances, Wainwright has thrown eight scoreless innings.