That sinking feeling you have in your stomach? Yeah, mine too.
I listened to the Cards put together another two-out rally last night on homers from Albert Pujols and Rick Ankiel and a long double off the wall by Ryan Ludwick and was pretty happy as I went out to play a double-header myself. I was all smiles when I returned to my vehicle to see STL 7 CIN 2 FNL at the bottom of my XM receiver.
Then I read the recap on ESPN.com. That recap included this snippet from John Mozeliak:
“Based on what I saw — and I’m not a doctor — it was pretty bad,” Mozeliak said.
Not good. So I decided I’d pop on over to STLToday.com and see what they had to say:
After falling, Pujols tried to stretch the muscle before assistant trainer Greg Hauck got to him. Catcher Yadier Molina and reliever Ron Villone lifted Pujols, who recoiled after once touching his left toe to the ground on the way to the dugout.
REALLY not good. Pujols was to return to St. Louis this morning to be examined by the lately-reviled Dr. George Paletta. Here’s hoping they don’t screw around with Pujols the way they have with some of the pitchers and their “strains” and “fatigue,” etc.
Then this morning, edited into that same article at STLToday.com, is this gem:
Though the club has yet to officially put Pujols on the disabled list, it is enough of a formality that it summoned Chris Duncan 12 days after he was optioned to Class AAA Memphis.
Sigh. I don’t know how else to react to that news. I understand that Mozeliak has very few options to replace Pujols. I know that the Cardinals will be facing a lot of right-handed starters in the days to come. But Memphis hasn’t helped this kid. He’s hitting a whopping .160 (after an 0-4 effort last night), with no home runs. I know he was hurt for a stretch, but it’s clear something is not right with him. Who knows, maybe he was sulking around in AAA and will regain his confidence and stroke with the big club. I’m skeptical. It’s a shame that necessity is going to force the club to make this move instead of being able to wait him out to let him truly refocus.
So, back to Pujols’ calf, it’s really a waiting game at this point. I’m sure there will be MRI’s and scans until the sun goes down, and then we’ll get *some* news. I think in a perfect world, he misses no more than a month. Worst case, it could be torn and he’d probably be lost for the season.
So perhaps the real question in all of this – if he’s out for, say, 3-4 months – do you shut him down and have the elbow fixed at the same time?