Cardinals righty Miles Mikolas is due to receive a platelet-rich plasma injection, skipper Mike Shildt tells reporters including Mark Saxon of The Athletic (via Twitter). That doesn’t come as a surprise, but does come with clear consequences for the defending NL Central champs.
Mikolas has been diagnosed with a flexor tendon strain. He previously underwent PRP treatment but evidently hasn’t responded quite as hoped.
In terms of a timeline, it’s still foggy. Mikolas is slated to be checked by doctors after three to four weeks of rest. Where things go from there remains to be seen. But even in the most optimistic scenario, that’d put him at least a month behind his teammates. It seems exceedingly likely he’ll miss at least that portion of the regular season.
Mikolas made a valiant return to the majors in 2018 and was rewarded with a big extension. He wasn’t as good last year but still contributed 184 solid frames, working to a 4.16 ERA. There’s little doubt that Mikolas is a key part of the Cards’ rotation in 2020 and beyond.
It’s not yet clear just how the Cards will sort things to account for the loss of Mikolas. The hope surely remains that he’ll recover as quickly as possible, but the team will obviously not be able to assume anything — particularly since the issue wasn’t resolved with the initial treatment. The return of Carlos Martinez to the rotation now seems all the more important. It’s also possible we’ll see incoming Korean hurler Kwang-hyun Kim get a look in camp. The only other healthy 40-man options with prior MLB experience are Austin Gomber and Genesis Cabrera.