DETROIT — Righthander Daniel Ponce de Leon has gone on the Cardinals’ 10-day injured list for the second time this season with shoulder discomfort. Recalled on Wednesday from Memphis, which was playing in Toledo 52 miles down the road was righthander Seth Elledge, who has made several appearances with the Cardinals this season.
Manager Mike Shildt, noting that Ponce de Leon, who also was injured in late April, had been throwing his fastball at only about 85 mph on Tuesday in a brief relief role, said, “It’s not in the exact spot as last time. It’s just fatigue more than anything else. He doesn’t have. . . as much strength. He said he warmed up and couldn’t get going.”
Ponce de Leon will be re-evaluated Thursday when the Cardinals are home for the start of a series with Pittsburgh.
John Gant will start for the Cardinals against Detroit rookie Matt Manning, a first-round pick like St. Louis outfielder Dylan Carlson in 2016. The two played Little League baseball together in Sacramento, California.
Paul Goldschmidt will serve as the designated hitter with Matt Carpenter going to first base. Edmundo Sosa gets a rest as Tommy Edman returns to second base and rookie Lars Nootbaar moves to right field from left, where he made his debut on Tuesday night.
The Cardinals have scored two or fewer runs in eight of their past 10 games. Only Adam Wainwright has won a game as a starting pitcher in that span. Wainwright (5-5), in fact, is the only Cardinals starter to win this month. He has won twice in June.
Addressing the first issue, Shildt said, “We can alibi it and say we’ve faced good pitching. Well, we have. It’s the big leagues. We can alibi it and say we hit a lot of balls at people, like last night, and we did. It’s the big leagues. You’re going to hit balls right at people.
“We just haven’t been consistent enough to be able to score runs. We did a lot of things the first two months of the season that were really pretty positive. Towards the end of May until now, it just hasn’t been consistently good enough.
“And we’re in a little bit of a rut where our starting pitching hasn’t been as consistent. When you have two of your big blocks—your starting pitching and your offense—not firing consistently, it’s not a good recipe for shaking hands consistently.
“We just have to figure out a way to find a solution to both—or at least one.”
1. Tommy Edman 2b
2. Dylan Carlson cf
3. Paul Goldschmidt dh
4. Nolan Arenado 3b
5. Tyler O’Neill lf
6. Yadier Molina c
7. Matt Carpenter 1b