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Which Cardinals injury will prove to be worst?

Injuries have been a constant companion for the 2012 St. Louis Cardinals, In fact, they are mounting with the latest two being the knee injury that first baseman Lance Berkman suffered Saturday night in Los Angeles and Matt Carpenter’s side injury incurred Tuesday evening at Busch Stadium.

Not including Matt, with the severity of his injury still unclear, the club currently has six players on the disabled list. Four of them landed there within the last week. Two have been there all season long – Chris Carpenter and Scott Linebrink.

Skip Schumaker is the only Cardinal to have missed time on the DL this season to date without returning to the shelf. Two are on their second DL stints of the short season – Allen Craig and Berkman. Unluckily, as a result, each has played in just 13 games of the team’s 43.

In addition, Carlos Beltran has struggled through knee and foot ailments that caused him to miss time while avoiding the DL and Adam Wainwright has not fully returned to prior Tommy John surgery effectiveness. Yadier Molina basically played through a recent hand injury. Rafael Furcal has a checkered injury history, but to date, the shortstop has avoided being shelved.

St. Louis Cardinals disabled list as of May 23, 2012

Player Injury DL date Games missed
C. Carpenter right shoulder weakness 26-Mar 43
S. Linebrink right shoulder capsulitis 30-Mar 43
J. Jay sprained right shoulder 16-May 8
A. Craig left hamstring strain 17-May 6 (second stint)
K. McClellan right elbow strain 18-May 5
L. Berkman right knee 20-May 3 (second stint)

Looking ahead to the end of the season, vote for which player’s injuries you think will have the biggest impact on the 2012 Cardinals. You may want to consider the ramifications of both the time lost by the player as well as the results of his replacement.

Which player's injuries will prove to be the most damaging to the 2012 Cardinals?

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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25 Responses to “Which Cardinals injury will prove to be worst?”

  1. crdswmn says:

    Matt Carpenter to the 15 day DL with right oblique strain. Steven Hill called up from Memphis.

    Why Steven Hill? Now the 40 man is full. No room to make a trade later unless someone is moved to the 60 day DL. Maybe they are anticipating that with Berkman? Hill has been playing 1B in Memphis, so I guess they wanted to give Adams a backup until Craig comes off the DL. Still seems like a strange move to me, but I don’t make the decisions, thankfully.

    • crdswmn says:

      Right handed bat I guess. That’s the only thing I can think of, though he is hitting better than Hamilton.

    • blingboy says:

      Thanks for the news. Perhaps Yadi is gimpier than we think, or the org is not as impressed with Cruz as they thought. Just guessing at possibilities since its a strange move.

      • crdswmn says:

        He’s been playing 1B in Memphis, so that is probably where they plan to play him most.

      • CariocaCardinal says:

        From my perspective, the only way this move makes sense is from the catching angle as you say.

        • Brian Walton says:

          I’ll be surprised if we see Hill catch at all, but it would seem to free up Tony Cruz for pinch-hitting duty.

          • JumboShrimp says:

            If we need a pinch-hitter, Hill is a much better hitter than Tony Cruz. Cruz frees up Hill for hitting, not the other way around.

          • crdswmn says:

            I may be totally off here, but why does everyone assume Hill was brought up here to catch? That doesn’t make sense to me because we don’t need a third catcher. MCarp was the backup 1B for Berkman and when Berkman went out we brought up Adams. As Adams is a LHH, it makes sense that the club might want a RHH option for 1B and Hill has been playing 1B quite a bit. Hill has an OPS of .879 against LHP and Adams has an OPS of .694 against LHP. Craig could come off the DL as early as next week, so Hill could be just a stop gap for 1B until then. Hill is a better hitter than Cruz, and from what I’ve heard, Hill’s defensive skills behind the plate are pretty thin, so I don’t see why Hill would be brought up to catch when Cruz is a better defender. Like I said, I may be totally off base, but this makes more sense to me than calling Hill up to catch.

            • Brian Walton says:

              Like I said above, I’d be surprised if we see Hill catch at all.

              • blingboy says:

                I direct your attention to the roster matrix. Hill is a catcher. But then, Greene is a shortstop.

                The cleaning lady at the official site has Hill third string catcher, third string 3B, and second string 1B, while Cruz appears only as 2nd string catcher. Greene is now the first string 2B, and only the 3rd string shortstop, behind Descalso. I also mention that he is on the All-Star ballot as a second baseman. Robinson is first string CF.

                • Brian Walton says:

                  And your point is what? That guys play out of position?

                  • blingboy says:

                    That was the point I was getting at, sort of. Too many guys playing out of position. Utility guys playing here and there. Trying to keep bats in the lineup. We are up to our arse in catchers, with Hill and Adams, who was a catcher until the day he was drafted. (We’ve even got a catcher doing the closing and another one writing out the lineup cards:) ) Matt Carp played one game at 1B, at Batavia, before he got to St. Louis. Descalso played a few games at third, also at Batavia, and never at short until he came up. Greene never played 2B until last year.

                    They are all doing a pretty good job, as are Mike and Mo, in deploying what they’ve got to advantage, but its not what you think of as a how a playoff team is put together. Still, I’d rather see it like this instead of Mo going after scrap heap guys just to have a veteran. It’s going to be another wild ride.

        • JumboShrimp says:

          The Hill promotion makes sense:
          both college seniors from Texas unearthed in round 13 by Joe Almaraz;
          both good hitters;
          Hill came off the roster because of injuries, but if better, he can return to the 40 man;
          now TLR is gone, Mo can do things his way. If Mo wants to try Marte, up he comes. If Mo wants to give at bats to Tyler Greene, he does. Likewise if Mo wants to give Hill a chance, up he comes.
          this shows Hill has moved ahead of Bryan Anderson as 3rd catcher. We need a 3rd catcher on the 40 man and it is now Hill.
          Hill is slow for corner OF and short for 1B. He has the arm strength for catching, but is not skilled there. But he does not have to be, to serve as a good hitting reserve catcher, balancing light hitting good defense, Cruz.
          Hill was the right choice and Mo made the right decision.

  2. blingboy says:

    A lengthy Furcal injury would be devastating. But that being said, I had to vote for Lance even though I don’t think it would have been reasonable to expect a repeat of last year’s all star performance. Something close might have happened, .400 OBP, .900+ish OPS, close to 90 RBI. If Craig can get and stay healthy, the spoken of platoon of him and Adams at 1B might put up impressive numbers, but who knows. Lance did it, and has done it before.

    If I could have voted for last year’s second half Carp, I might have. It will take two guys to replace the innings, and I’m hoping we won’t have to replace his late season/post season clutch. If so, Wainy should be back in the saddle.

    Any minute now, Jumbo will suggest a vote for most ‘positive’ injury. I have to go to work, so I’ll go ahead and vote for Hamilton for that.

    Speaking of work, tonight is my last night shift, so I’ll be able to watch baseball again. Oh happy day!

    • Nutlaw says:

      I agree with your reasoning, bb, though come to a different conclusion. While Berkman has played great, the Cardinals have a lot of solid players to man the corner infield and outfield positions between Berkman, Beltran, Holliday, Freese, Allen Craig, Matt Carpenter, and hopefully Matt Adams. I think that Craig is very much a legitimate major league starter on his own if not better, and wouldn’t need to be platooned. Even with three of these guys injured, I’m still okay with the starting lineup, if not the bench.

      Chris Carpenter is getting up there in age and Lance Lynn has been solid, so I’m not overly concerned yet.

      You suggested Furcal, and that’s what I worry about. I continue to hope that Tyler Greene will take the 2B job and run with it, but playing two of him, Descalso, and Skip every day would be a problem. Moreso if Skip is manning CF for Jay and they have to use all three!

      Clearly, this team needs to get healthy.

  3. WesPowell says:

    I think we are deep enough to weather any one injury. So far we have shown the capacity to weather multiple injuries. Just keep the fingers crossed that nearly everyone is healthy for the last month or so if we are in a race to make the playoffs.

    • Nutlaw says:

      Certainly the injury to Wainwright proved that first sentence last season. The roster is relatively deep, but it is starting to look a little ragged at present.

  4. WesPowell says:

    As I said in a previous thread, the swings of the pendulum will occur injuries or no injuries. Just limit the swings to the bad side as much as possible, either way.

  5. blingboy says:

    One of the aspects of the Hill promotion that doesn’t make sense to me is maxing out the 40 man roster. That could possibly become awkward at some point. So the MCarp injury gains importance for that reason.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      Its easy to put Chris Carpenter and Lance Berkman on the 60 day DL and you gain two slots. We also have a few other guys who could be removed from the 40 man.

  6. blingboy says:

    I was happy to see that Adams had a two out RBI, as well as an extra base hit. So far, so good.

    On the other side, Robinson stepped up in the eighth with a runner on second and nobody out. He absolutly has to hit it to the right side and advance the runner. A pesky hitter has to be pesky. So then Tyler does it for him by swiping third, and Furcal stands in with one out and a speedy runner 90 feet away. He has to put it in play, some how, some way.

    Carlos and David aren’t going to smack homers all the time, the offense has to be able to move guys around when presented with such golden opportunities.

    Lynn seems to have poise beyond his experience level. I’ve noticed that before, too. Very impressive job hanging in there, stopping the bleeding, and keeping his team in the game.

  7. blingboy says:

    The Cards have more guys wearing defensive lineman numbers than the Rams.

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