Injuries have been too much to overcome
In today’s world, most major league teams don’t have the depth to withstand a constant rash of injuries, and the Cardinals are finding that out. With seven of their projected 25-man roster on the disabled list, the Cardinals have gone 11-19 in the last month.
They have won just two of their last 10 series — against weaklings San Diego and Houston — and have dropped to third place in the National League Central after leading the division for much of the early part of the season.
Offensively, the team’s on-base percentage was .356 when the Cardinals were 20-11. Since they’ve gone 11-19, it has dropped to .317. A bit of this is because of the falloff of shortstop Rafael Furcal, who might have been their best player in the first month. Furcal is 0 for his last 11 and 7 for his last 46.
“Would I like to see us more consistent? No question,” said manager Mike Matheny.
Two of the Cardinals’ starting pitchers, Lance Lynn and Kyle Lohse, have a combined 15-3 record, with Lynn at 9-2. The rest of the rotation is 12-16. And that means an inconsistent bullpen is 4-11.
Some help is on the way. Matt Carpenter and Skip Schumaker both are expected to go on rehab assignments soon as they recover from oblique and hamstring ailments, respectively.
— RHP Chris Carpenter, out all season with a weak shoulder spurred by a nerve disorder, is expected to begin throwing off a mound sometime this week. “I feel great,” said Carpenter, who might be back sometime in mid- to late July if all goes well.
— LF Matt Holliday, who missed the two weekend games with Cleveland when his back locked up, is expected to be ready to play Tuesday against the Chicago White Sox.
— Rookie 1B Matt Adams, after a fast start in which he had five multi-hit games in his first nine, has gone 3 for his last 30 and admittedly is pressing. “I feel like I’ve gotten out of my approach,” said Adams. “I’m falling into the pitchers’ trap.”
— When RHP Joe Kelly was promoted from Class AAA Memphis, the Cardinals went to a 13-man pitching staff for the first time this season. They might keep that many for the next couple of weeks because next week they will be playing interleague games on the road, where not as many extra position players normally are needed.
— RHP Adam Wainwright, who will start on Tuesday against the White Sox, has pitched just one inning against the White Sox. It was in relief in 2006, which was the last time the two teams played.
BY THE NUMBERS: 10-8 — Cardinals’ interleague record against the Chicago White Sox.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “I know I can throw long toss. Now we have to find out about the other.” — RHP Chris Carpenter, about to embark on a program of throwing off the mound. He hasn’t pitched all season because of a weak shoulder.