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Flaherty heads to injury list with oblique strain; Cardinals promote Oviedo, audit alternatives for what 'could be awhile'

Flaherty heads to injury list with oblique strain; Cardinals promote Oviedo, audit alternatives for what 'could be awhile'

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LOS ANGELES — The plan, pitcher Jack Flaherty explained late Monday night while sitting through a Zoom interview an hour after an abrupt departure from his start, was to see how his left side felt in the morning, how it responded to rest, and whether exams of the area revealed the reason he felt tightness ripple through his torso.

It did.

And, in the words of manager Mike Shildt, "it's significant."

Flaherty as a tear in his oblique that placed him on the injured list Tuesday and will likely lead to a lengthy absence from the Cardinals' opening day start. Shildt said the club is still awaiting review of scans taken Tuesday to determine the degree of the strain along the left side of Flaherty's torso. 

"It's not a minimal situation," Shildt said. "It's a real strain, tear, I don't know which grade (they) want to call it. It's significant that Jack is going to miss some time. And it's going to be awhile. We're still in the exploratory stage to determine how long."

Johan Oviedo was promoted from the taxi squad to the active roster. He'll be available in relief, if needed, and he'll be an option to start.

Flaherty's injury is the most significant test yet for a rotation that is already without Miles Mikolas and a bullpen that has been stretched to cover so many left over innings. More on the ramifications of Flaherty's absence will be available later this evening and in the pages of the Post-Dispatch on Wednesday.

From earlier ... 

Two firsts will take place in Tuesday's game at Dodger Stadium.

Albert Pujols, the three-time MVP and all-time great for the Cardinals, will make his first start against the Cardinals as a member of the Dodgers. Since his unceremonious release from the Los Angeles Angels, Pujols has found a home as a regular starter at first for the defending World Series champs.

Also, Jose Rondon, newly added to the Cardinals' roster on this trip, will make his first start in the outfield for them.

He's out in right field.

That's largely because the Cardinals are leaning hard right with their lineup against Dodgers veteran and lefty David Price. He was announced as the starter late Monday night and the game could bend toward a bullpen one for the big-budget Dodgers.

Below, as promised on Twitter, is a closeup of the lineup, guided by matchups.

Based on roster makeup, Cardinals gear up to see Pujols in a new getup.

They're playing catchup, injuries always force a shakeup, and that could mean a callup. 

Straight up, late game or not, you can count on a writeup being here when you wakeup.  

CARDINALS

1. Tommy Edman, 2B

2. Dylan Carlson, CF

3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B

4. Nolan Arenado, 3B

5. Yadier Molina, C

6. Tyler O'Neill, LF

7. Edmundo Sosa, SS

8. Jose Rondon, RF

9. John Gant, RHP

DODGERS

1. Mookie Betts, RF

2. Max Muncy, 2B

3. Justin Turner, 3B

4. Will Smith, C

5. Gavin Lux, SS

6. Chris Taylor, CF

7. Albert Pujols, 1B

8. Matt Beaty, LF

9. David Price, LHP

Check back throughout the evening for updates here on StlToday.com from Dodger Stadium, and of course full coverage of the late game will be available online and in the pages of the Post-Dispatch.

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