Here is the latest on St. Louis Cardinals injuries ahead of their second game of the year.
ST. LOUIS — On a cold, windy day at Busch Stadium on Saturday, St. Louis Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol pieced together a lineup that did not include a pair of his injured Opening Day starters.
When the St. Louis Cardinals and Toronto Blue Jays continue their three-game series on Saturday afternoon, the Cardinals will be without catcher Willson Contreras and outfielder Lars Nootbaar, both starters on Opening Day. Both are considered day-to-day by the franchise, with Contreras suffering a knee injury after taking a Jordan Hicks pitch off his right knee in Thursday’s loss to Toronto. Nootbaar, meanwhile, jammed his left thumb after sliding into third on Thursday.
Neither are expected to be long-term injuries that could impact the Cardinals lineup past this weekend.
Latest injury news on key Cardinals players, including Willson Contreras, Lars Nootbaar, and Giovanny Gallegos
Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said that Nootbaar, coming off helping Japan capture the World Baseball Classic title, was “feeling it (thumb injury) even in his last at-bat” on Thursday. Nootbaar drew a walk to open the eighth inning for St. Louis in Thursday’s 10-9 loss.
“He slid in, he jammed it, so he’s not available today,” Marmol told reporters, adding that imaging had not seen anything to cause concern.
There is good news, however, regarding Contreras, who Marmol said “felt a lot better” after having Friday’s off day, adding, “He was moving around much better than anticipated.”
Andrew Knizner will get the start behind the plate on Saturday for the Cardinals, with Taylor Motter as one of the possibilities to serve as an emergency backup catcher if needed.
On the pitching front, Gallegos missed Thursday’s game with what was termed a tweak of the lower back. Marmol said that the reliever was likely unavailable for Saturday as well, especially with the cold, windy conditions in St. Louis.
“He’s going to move around to see what that looks like, but I don’t see us using him today, even if it feels better,” Marmol said. “It’s probably another day before he’s available.”
The right-hander appeared in 57 games for the Cardinals last season, the most of any St. Louis pitcher. His 14 saves finished second on the team behind Ryan Helsley, who picked up 11 of his team-high 19 saves after the All-Star break.