MILWAUKEE — Shortstop Paul DeJong traveled with the Cardinals to San Diego Thursday after the Cardinals’ 2-0 victory over Milwaukee. But that doesn’t mean he will be playing in that series.
An MRI taken on DeJong’s left side Thursday revealed a “pretty significant contusion,” in the rib area, said manager Mike Shildt. This likely was the result of DeJong being hit by a pitch on Tuesday night and then exacerbated when he tried to make a tag on a stolen base attempt on Wednesday.
Shildt said, “It’s mostly good news. Where he got hit, there’s something in there that could have been a lot worse. It’s not muscular, necessarily, but it’s where it was in the rib (area) that likely will create a pause but not anything overly long.
“We’re still evaluating it but there’s a possibility there could be a roster pause,” said Shildt, meaning a 10-day injured list designation.
Jose Rondon could make an appearance on the roster by the time the Cardinals play in San Diego on Friday night. Shildt had said before the game that “that educated guess probably is pretty good. I would expect somebody to be in San Diego, whether on the roster or on the taxi squad.”
Infielder Rondon, who had four homers and drove in 12 runs in Memphis’ first seven games, started the Redbirds’ game at Nashville on Thursday night after being pulled early the night before.
DeJong, hitting .177 with seven homers, was replaced by Tommy Edman at shortstop Thursday, with Edmundo Sosa playing the ninth inning.
The Cardinals on Thursday swiped a season-high four bases, including one of third base by Lane Thomas, which more or less led to the insurance run in the ninth inning.
“We’re opportunistic,” said Shildt. “ We’re not going to run to run. We’re going to run to make it.”
Pinch hitter Thomas walked against lefthander Angel Perdomo in the ninth, moved up on an infield out and stole third before Dylan Carlson walked.
Perdomo, perhaps distracted, tried to pick off Carlson at first but threw the ball away and Thomas scored.
Thomas, who, as a pinch runner, aggressively took second on a fly out as the throw went to third on Tuesday, hasn’t had much chance to contribute since he came back after a rocky start to his season.
He said his mindset was “accepting your role and to be ready for those situations. I’m excited to contribute and give us a little insurance late.”
The righthanded batter said the pregame information had been that Perdomo, who had walked six in 8 2/3 innings, was someone worth waiting out rather than Thomas trying to attack right away.
“He didn’t throw a lot of strikes, so I was just going to be patient and work a good at-bat,” he said.
“It doesn’t do me any good to get up there and swing at the first strike and get out quick. He walked me and I didn’t even have to swing.
“I’ve watched a lot of videos on the (relievers), so I’m not trying to rush through it before the at-bat.”
Edman had two steals, the first coming in the first inning, setting up a two-out, run-scoring single by Nolan Arenado, who had three hits Thursday.
Fair or foul?
Carlson was an inadvertent part of controversy in the third when he hit a grounder behind first base. Daniel Vogelbach fielded it casually, thinking it was a foul ball. But when first-base umpire Jim Reynolds signaled fair, Vogelbach hustled back toward the bag and flipped to pitcher Corbin Burnes, who finally started off the mound.
Carlson, who knew he had fouled the ball off his foot, hadn’t moved. Shildt came onto the field but the umpires already were huddling.
“They did not call it a foul ball initially,” Shildt said. “That’s a tough play for the home-plate umpire (Todd Tichenor) but it’s initially his call. Then they went out and checked on it. They clearly got it right. One of the umpires had rightfully seen it go off (Carlson’s) foot.”
Carlson’s at-bat continued and ended in a fly out to left. But by this time, Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell already had been booted, apparently not happy with how the umpires handled it.
“Yeah,” said Shildt. “Apparently not.”
Catcher Yadier Molina received a scheduled day off and Andrew Knizner again handled Jack Flaherty, as he did this past Friday. The two have put together 13 consecutive scoreless innings over those two starts .
Molina had taken a couple of foul balls off his mask on Wednesday but Shildt said that Molina felt all right.
“Quick turnaround for (Molina) and ‘Kiz’ has played well,” said Shildt. “A combination of things.”
The Cardinals won’t see San Diego aces Yu Darvish and Blake Snell, who are not slated to pitch in the series, nor will they see Fernando Tatis Jr., Wil Myers and Eric Hosmer, who are on the COVID injured list.