Thumb injury lands Peralta back on DL

Jhonny Peralta has a ligament strain in his left thumb.

Benny Sieu/Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

ST. LOUIS — Cardinals third baseman Jhonny Peralta is going back on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained ligament in his surgically repaired left thumb.

The 34-year-old Peralta is batting .221 with five homers and 13 RBIs. He missed the first 57 games of the season before returning June 7.

St. Louis made the move Tuesday.

Peralta hasn’t played since getting removed in a double switch on Sunday while being bothered by pain in his thumb. There’s been inflammation the last few weeks from getting jammed at the plate.

"It just didn’t look good, we saw that early on," manager Mike Matheny said. "The swing through just didn’t feel right."

The three-time All-Star underwent surgery in March for an injury in a different spot on the thumb, but general manager John Mozeliak said there was no doubt the two injuries are related.

The team is hopeful Peralta will resume baseball activities in 10 days but wasn’t sure whether he would be ready to go at the end of the 15 days.

"I think we were trying to be patient with this," Mozeliak said. "I think the best thing for him right now is some rest."

Peralta averaged 19 homers and 73 RBIs the previous two seasons. He moved to third base due to the emergence of rookie All-Star shortstop Aledmys Diaz.

Greg Garcia started at third base on Monday and Jedd Gyorko was at that spot on Tuesday.

Outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker was recalled from Triple-A Memphis to replace Peralta. St. Louis also recalled right-handed reliever Miguel Socolovich and designated catcher Mike McKenry for assignment.

Socolovich was called up because of the potential workload in the bullpen with 17 games in a row.

Hazelbaker was on the opening day roster and has made 44 starts, batting .250 with seven homers and 19 RBIs. He’s among the top pinch hitters in the majors with three homers, a .368 average and six RBIs.

Socolovich is 2-5 with a 2.79 ERA in 35 games at Memphis.

Peralta, in the third year of a four-year, $53 million deal, joins fellow starters Brandon Moss and Matt Carpenter on the DL. Mozeliak said Moss (ankle) could begin a rehab assignment early next week.