The St. Louis Cardinals have placed third baseman David Freese on the 15-day disabled list, which means he will miss Opening Day.
Freese has been dealing with a nagging back injury that has been causing some trouble as of late. He suffered a bruised tailbone on March 4 when he fell into the stands chasing a foul ball. His back has not been right since then, and the organization decided it would be best for him to undergo an MRI on Monday to see the damage. The MRI revealed that there is inflammation in his lower back that will force him out of the lineup.
The right-handed batter was hitting .267 with two home runs, five RBI, one double, five walks and eight strikeouts in 30 at-bats this spring. Freese is averaging a little over five innings per start this season at third base. He has not suited up for a full nine innings at any point in Spring Training, which did not sit well with the organization considering the regular season is less than a week away.
“It’s just more of a practical matter in the sense that he hasn’t played nine innings all spring,” general manager John Mozeliak said. “He hasn’t gotten a lot of at-bats over the last two weeks in an aggregate sense. Looking ahead at what’s best for David is to get him some at-bats next week where he could get a lot of work in.”
The 29-year-old will most likely return to the Cardinals on April 8 for the team’s showdown with the Cincinnati Reds in the third series of the season. It is comforting to know that Freese will be back in the lineup at this time as every game against Cincinnati, who is the favorite to win the National League Central, will be critical. The Cardinals will also take on the Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates during the week following the series against the Reds.