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David Freese likely out until late July following hand surgery

May 2, 2011, 5:40 PM EDT

David Freese

David Freese exited yesterday’s game with a broken hand thanks to a Scott Linebrink fastball and today general manager John Mozeliak announced that his return timetable is 9-12 weeks.

According to Mozeliak he’s unlikely to return until late July, which is a big blow to a Cardinals roster already decimated by injuries.

Freese was off to a strong start, hitting .356 with an .865 OPS in 25 games after putting up solid numbers as a rookie last season, and the Cardinals’ options to replace him at third base aren’t very appealing.

Daniel Descalso is getting the start there tonight, Nick Punto and Tyler Greene are light-hitting options, and Allen Craig has some third base experience in the minors if the Cardinals want to sacrifice defense to get his bat in the lineup. Albert Pujols played 1.1 innings at third base yesterday in an emergency situation, but don’t expect to see him back at the hot corner.

  1. spudchukar - May 2, 2011 at 7:18 PM

    The Cards have overcome a lot already this season. Freese has been a clutch RBI machine in both of his abbreviated big league seasons. Evidently, the sound of the ball striking his hand was pretty indicative of the degree of injury. The Cards have a few options, but if Freese is going to be out as long has stated here, I’d like to see them bring up Carpenter, and return Hamilton to AAA. We have Berkman as an adequate replacement for Pujols at first when necessary, and Molina has played there in a pinch, as has Allen Craig. Carpenter is a better defensive option than Craig, and as a lefty hitter provides a bit more versatility. He had a great Spring, and while he started slow at AAA in Memphis, he has come on somewhat in the past 10 days. Descalso has proven to be an defensive alternative when needed, but with Shumaker both on the DL, and in my mind still a questionable asset as a secondbaseman Descalso may be needed to fill in there. Hopefully Punto’s hamstring tightness is minor, one more infielder on the DL, and we may need to look elsewhere.

  2. umrguy42 - May 3, 2011 at 9:16 AM

    I think they can mix and match pieces from the minors and wherever to get the infield help, but I’m still concerned about the bullpen!

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