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Cardinals spring training

Cardinals pitcher Brett Cecil throws during the first official workout day at Cardinals spring training on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019, at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla. Photo by Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com

JUPITER, Fla. • Lefthanded reliever Brett Cecil, who has lost his way after dropping 42 pounds in the offseason and then encountering arm problems, will be placed on the injured list by the Cardinals and will not go north with them at the start of the season next week.

General manager Michael Girsch said Cecil had “median nerve tension, so when he gets into the throwing positon, he can’t grip the ball. (The doctors) think it’s pinching his nerve when he elevates his arm above his head.”

Shildt said, “He’s going to be shut down for a while.”

Cecil, pointing to his forearm, said he had been suffering from a spasm for five days and that he had been throwing on the side of the ball, rather than on top of it as his middle two fingers didn’t have feeling.

“Every pitch I threw was looking like a football,” he said. “I couldn’t feel the ball coming off my two fingers.”

Cecil didn’t allow a run in his two outings. He had come into camp with high optimism after his offseason conditioning, including a heavy emphasis on nutrition.

“Heavy heart for Brett,” said Shildt. “You can say you’re going to make adjustments and do things differently, but he did them. It’s disappointing for him — and us.”

Cecil said he first began experiencing the difficulty with his fingers after a game against the Mets nine days ago. “There’s no tingling, no long-lasting numbness,” he said.

AROZARENA BREAKS HAND

Non-roster outfielder Randy Arozarena, hit in the right hand by a pitch Saturday at West Palm Beach, has been found to have a broken bone in that hand, Girsch said. Arozarena, who hit .346 this spring, was sent back to the minor-league complex after Saturday’s game and will be on the minor-league injury list.

“Every time guys get hurt, it kind of stinks,” said Girsch, who had been impressed by the Cuban native, who split time between Memphis and Springfield last year. Arozarena now will visit a hand specialist but is likely to be out at least a month to two months.

Infielder Jedd Gyorko, who has a strained calf, said he would not be able to play Wednesday, and Shildt said it was looking more like the weekend for Gyorko, who has only seven at-bats this spring.

“When I can run at full speed, I’ll be back in there,” said Gyorko. But it appears likely that Gyorko could go on the injured list.

Third baseman Matt Carpenter (tightness in back) also won’t be playing until Thursday, but Shildt said he was not concerned about Carpenter being able to start the season next week.

Non-roster pitchers Mike Hauschild and Ryan Meisinger were sent back to the minor-league camp, leaving 42 players in big-league camp.


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