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Rafael Furcal lost for the season with torn elbow ligament

Aug 31, 2012, 5:29 PM EDT

2011 World Series Game 7 - Texas Rangers v St Louis Cardinals Getty Images

Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch confirms what was feared last night: Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow and is done for the season.

Strauss reports that no decision has been made yet on Furcal going under the knife, but a torn UCL is the injury fixed by Tommy John surgery. Recovery times are quicker for position players than pitchers, although a big part of Furcal’s game is his arm strength at shortstop and the 34-year-old’s status for next season would definitely be in doubt. He’s under contract for $7 million in 2013.

Because the injury occurred with almost zero time for the Cardinals to trade for a veteran shortstop Daniel Descalso figures to be the primary fill in, although they also called up light-hitting minor leaguer Pete Kozma from Triple-A and for tonight at least he’s in the starting lineup. Kozma was a first-round pick in 2007, but has always struggled offensively in the minors and hit just .232 with a .647 OPS in 131 games at Triple-A this season.

Furcal finishes the season hitting .264 with five homers, 12 steals, and a .671 OPS in 121 games.

  1. scaarepittschamberofcommerce - Aug 31, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    Well that’s pretty awful news…

    • thefalcon123 - Aug 31, 2012 at 5:39 PM

      Considering that since May 17th, Furcal has hit .218/.276/.278, I’m not sure it’s gonna be that big of a blow for the Cardinals.

      • paperlions - Aug 31, 2012 at 5:44 PM

        ^Exactly….throw in his spotty defense and apparently completely inability to get the ball out of his glove to turn double plays (which has cost them a few runs the last couple weeks), and it doesn’t feel like much of a loss. We already know Descalso can’t hit much…and by all accounts Ryan Jackson is a great defensive SS (at which Descalso has been passable at best, not a surprise given he was a 3B in the minors)…would like to see if Jackson can hit enough to make the glove play.

      • okwhitefalcon - Aug 31, 2012 at 6:54 PM

        I have no idea how much it will hurt them either really at this point, they say Furcal is a great clubhouse guy with good energy but that sure as hell hasn’t gotten him any hits in 2 months.

        It seems something’s going on with Jackson, no one I’ve heard can explain why they’d call up Kozma (who has been playing 2nd all year for the most part in Memphis and sucking) and immediately put him in the starting lineup tonight at SS in the midst of a wild card run and a 3 game tailspin.

        I’m not sure if Jackson will ever hit enough to be an everyday guy but they say he can pick it, who knows really.

        Don’t be surprised if we see a late night dumpster dive tonight, Jack Wilson got released by the Braves today…

      • paperlions - Aug 31, 2012 at 8:05 PM

        Yeah, something must be wrong with Jackson….because Kozma is pretty useless.

      • jb11squirrel - Aug 31, 2012 at 10:47 PM

        There is nothing wrong with Jackson. They had just optioned him to Memphis, so unless they were willing to put Furcal on the DL before they knew what was really wrong they could not bring Jackson back for ten days.

        Joe strauss explained it in an article in st. Louis post dispatch “the Cardinals could have recalled Jackson today but that would have first required disabling Furcal, since Jackson was optioned within the last 10 days.”

  2. whodeytn - Aug 31, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer team.

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 4, 2012 at 8:52 AM

      As always…we appreciate your positive contributions…CHUMP.

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