With closer Seung Hwan Oh on the bench with a sore groin and slugger Matt Holliday taking his first batting practice since undergoing right thumb surgery, the Cardinals don’t need any lengthening of their disabled list. When Matt Carpenter’s back tightened up during a seventh inning at-bat against the Cubs on Monday night, it was exactly what they didn’t want to see.
Per Mike Matheny: Matt Carpenter exited tonight's game after his seventh-inning at-bat due to back tightness. #stlcards— Jenifer Langosch (@LangoschMLB) September 13, 2016
Fortunately, indications after the game were that Carpenter wouldn’t miss any time.
“[Mike] Matheny received "good reports" from the medical staff after the game, an indication that the injury is not considered serious.”
Losing an all-star slashing .278/.389/.525 (who also recently hit the team’s 15th and league-leading pinch hit home run) would be a blow to the Cardinals, who are probably not going to surpass the Cubs in the NL Central but seem to be in at least partial control of the NL wild-card picture.
Beyond Holliday and Oh, the Cardinals are also waiting for starter Michael Wacha to return. But the news is, as with Carpenter, good on that front: Wacha is shooting for a Wednesday return from his August 9 stress reaction in his right shoulder after throwing batting practice against Brayan Pena, Tommy Pham, Jose Martinez and Alberto Rosario. “Great,” a verbose Mike Matheny called the display.
Wacha’s high speed recovery is due to his not taking the time to rebuild his arm strength, so he will be used as a reliever upon his return. Speaking of returning in a relief capacity, Trevor Rosenthal is also expected back “any day now” from an inflamed right shoulder he suffered in late July.