The Cardinals announced a series of roster moves prior to today’s game, activating left-hander T.J. McFarland from the COVID IL. To create space on the active roster, fellow lefty Zack Thompson was optioned to Triple-A Memphis. To open a spot on the 40-man roster, righty Jack Flaherty was transferred to the 60-day IL.
Flaherty began the year on the IL due to shoulder bursitis, returning just under a month ago. However, after three truncated appearances, he returned to the IL due to continued shoulder issues. It was subsequently announced that he would be shut down from throwing for 2-3 weeks as the club tries to return him to health.
Given today’s transfer, Flaherty will be unable to return until 60 days from his June 27 IL placement, meaning he’s now out until late August. With a weeks-long shutdown, it was going to be difficult for him to get back before than in any event, unless the club considered bringing him back as a reliever, as that course of action would require less of a ramp-up period after the shutdown. However, manager Oli Marmol says they still want to build him up as a starter, per Jeff Jones of the Belleville News-Democrat.
Flaherty pitched at an ace-like level in 2019, throwing 196 1/3 innings with a 2.75 ERA. However, he slumped a bit in 2020 and then has been derailed by injuries in the past couple of seasons. He and the Cardinals will surely be hoping for this rest period to allow him to come back and salvage some of his season, giving a boost to the club down the stretch.