Cardinals reliever Jordan Walden experienced shoulder soreness while pitching in a Spring Training game today and will not be ready for the start of the season, as Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes. Walden will visit a doctor instead of going north with the team. Walden missed most of 2015 due to a rotator cuff injury, but was reportedly healthy coming into camp.
When healthy, Walden can be a difference-maker out of the bullpen — in 2014, before heading to St. Louis in the Jason Heyward / Shelby Miller trade, he posted a 2.88 ERA, 11.2 K/9 and 4.9 BB/9 in 50 innings with the Braves. He was only able to pitch 10 1/3 innings in his first season with the Cardinals, however, not appearing in a game again after April 29.
With Walden out, the Cardinals will have an additional spot open in their bullpen. Goold names Matt Bowman (a Rule 5 pick from the Mets organization who worked as a starter in Triple-A last year) and Juan Gonzalez as pitchers who now might be on the roster bubble.