The St. Louis Cardinals have had their struggles so far in spring training with a 10-11 record and have numerous obstacles to overcome.
A number of players have been injured recently, some for reasons you normally don’t hear.
Shortstop Rafael Furcal has opted to undergo ligament replacement surgery in his right elbow and is expected to miss the entire 2013 season, according to espn.com. Furcal strained the elbow ligament at the end of last season, holding him out of the last few weeks of the season and the Cardinals playoff run.
Peter Kozma looks like the next guy in line at shortstop, according to espn.com baseball writer Jayson Stark.
Manager Mike Matheny also required surgery to repair a ruptured disk in his lower back.
Matheny had the procedure in St. Louis, according to the Associated Press. Bench coach Mike Aldrete managed the team in Matheny’s absence.
In other injury news relief pitcher Mark Rzepczynski was cleared to throw by team doctors, three days after injuring his left eye while playing a round of golf, reports mlb.com Cardinals reporter Jenifer Langosch. “Being able to throw off a mound is the best thing I’ve heard since Friday,” Rzepczynski said. “It’s looking better. There should be no permanent damage.”
The competition for the fifth starter spot in the rotation will also look to take shape this week as Shelby Miller and Joe Kelly will continue to compete for the job.