The Cardinals saw a pair of high-profile players exit today’s loss to the Cubs due to injury today. Catcher Willson Contreras exited the game in the sixth inning with right hip tightness before third baseman Nolan Arenado exited the game in the ninth inning. Per Jeff Jones of the Belleville News-Democrat, Contreras felt some soreness in his hip while blocking pitches early in the game that was then aggravated upon running the bases later on, while Arenado fouled a ball off his lower left leg earlier in the game. While he initially stayed in the game, Arenado’s leg began to stiffen up during a lengthy rain delay later in the game, prompting Arenado’s exit. Per MLB.com’s John Denton, Arenado told reporters that he’ll “be fine” on Sunday, indicating he could return to the lineup without missing time. Denton added that Contreras is listed as day-to-day.
Losing either Contreras or Arenado for significant time would be a major blow to the St. Louis. While the club is in fourth place in a weak NL Central division with an abysmal 44-55 record, the club has performed better of late with a solid 17-13 record in their last thirty games. Both Arenado and Contreras have been key pieces in that success. Since that month of play began, Arenado boasts a strong .288/.336/.586 slash line while Contreras has caught fire to the tune of a .373/.472/.653 line in 21 games. If Contreras ends up missing time, the Cardinals figure to rely on youngster Ivan Herrera behind the plate alongside backup Andrew Knizner.
More from around MLB’s central divisions…
- With Twins infielder Jorge Polanco nearing a return from the injured list, manager Rocco Baldelli told reporters (including Betsy Helfand of the St. Paul Pioneer Press) that Polanco would be taking reps at third base during his rehab assignment. The position change, Baldelli explained, is designed to keep second baseman Edouard Julien in the lineup after Polanco’s return. Julien has been a revelation for the Twins in his rookie season, slashing a phenomenal .318/.399/.565 with a wRC+ of 167. With Polanco set to shift to the hot corner, the likes of Donovan Solano and Kyle Farmer figure to see their playing time reduced upon his return.
- MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that Tigers outfielder Kerry Carpenter is drawing significant trade interest, but that Detroit is expected to hold onto the lefty slugger. The 25-year-old Carpenter has done nothing but hit since reaching the majors late last season, with a .257/.317/.493 slash line in 312 career plate appearances that’s good for a wRC+ of 125. Carpenter has shown particularly prodigious power, with 17 homers despite only half a season’s worth of trips to the plate. Given his offensive success, it’s hardly a surprise that Morosi notes the Tigers see Carpenter as part of the club’s future. Riley Greene, Tarik Skubal, Matt Manning, and Spencer Torkelson are among the other young pieces already in the majors who could be key factors in the club’s eventual return to contention.
- Brewers lefty Aaron Ashby has yet to pitch in the majors this year after undergoing shoulder surgery back in April, but he’s making progress toward a return at some point this season. MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy relays that Ashby has been on a schedule involving 30-pitch bullpen sessions on Tuesdays and Fridays, and that while there are still hurdles before he can return to game action, he’s expected to head to Arizona next week to continue his rehab. Upon his return, Ashby figures to pitch in out of the bullpen, a role in which he owns a career 3.66 ERA across 39 1/3 innings of work with a 32.5% strikeout rate.