Latest Jack Flaherty injury update has big ramifications in NL Central race

Cardinals ace Jack Flaherty’s injury update won’t make fans happy and will have a big impact on the NL Central race. 

St. Louis Cardinals ace pitcher Jack Flaherty’s return to the rotation is being delayed indefinitely. After being placed on the 10-day IL, the Cardinals are continuing to evaluate Flaherty and take their time bringing him back, despite the negative impact the injury has had on the team’s designs on winning an NL Central crown.

“It’s not a minimal situation,” Shildt said at the time. “It’s a real strain/tear.”

As it turns out, he was more right than he thought.

According to MLB insider Jon Heyman, Flaherty is not expected to return to the Cardinals anytime soon, and it’s uncertain how long he’ll be out.

“Word is Jack Flaherty will likely be out into the break with his oblique injury, but there’s no official timetable,” Heyman reported on Tuesday.

Jack Flaherty injury update impact NL Central race

Flaherty was 8-1 with a 2.90 ERA and 67 strikeouts at the time of his injury, and the Cardinals were just a half-game out of first place. Since then, they have taken a dive that shows no signs of breaking.

As of the update, the Cardinals sit 2.5 games out of first place and just a half-game behind the Cubs in second place.

Since losing Flaherty, the Cardinals have lost five straight games, giving up a combined 37 runs including getting outscored 23-15 in a four-game sweep at the hands of the Reds. St. Louis now faces an upcoming series with the Cubs which could sink them even further in the NL Central race.

After its five-game skid St. Louis is just 2.5 games away from falling into fourth place. With the Cubs and Brewers looking like they’re hitting a stride ahead of the All-Star Break, things could get much worse for the Cardinals as the team is nearing all-out panic if the bleeding can’t be clamped.