Nick Punto visited a specialist after showing up at Cardinals camp with groin soreness and the doctor gave him some bad news, as Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that he’ll be out 8-12 weeks following hernia surgery.
According to Goold the diagnosis is that Punto has a “sports hernia/hockey hernia” and general manager John Mozeliak indicated that the Cardinals don’t expect him to be available until “sometime in May.”
Punto signed a one-year, $750,000 deal with St. Louis after spending the past seven seasons in Minnesota. He was expected to serve as the Cardinals’ primary backup infielder and would likely have been in line for some early starts at third base depending on David Freese’s status. Ramon Vazquez, Tyler Greene, and Daniel Descalso are the other utility man candidates in camp.
The Dodgers have reportedly agreed to a one-year deal with free agent right-hander Tom Koehler, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. The team has yet to officially announce the signing, which is currently pending a physical.
Following a mostly-productive five-year run with the Marlins, the 31-year-old flamed out in 12 starts for Miami in 2017, eventually coming over to the Blue Jays in a midseason trade for minor leaguer Osman Gutierrez. He made a successful transition to the bullpen and finished the season on a high note, pitching to a 2.65 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 9.5 SO/9 in 17 innings.
Koehler was non-tendered by the Blue Jays earlier this month and had attracted a fair amount of interest around the league prior to his signing. He’s expected to reprise his role as a middle reliever in Los Angeles, though Cotillo speculates that he could also bring some depth and balance to the Dodgers’ lefty-heavy rotation.