Rafael Furcal at least 25-30 days from returning to Dodgers

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Rafael Furcal got a platelet-rich plasma injection after being placed on the disabled list over the weekend with a strained oblique muscle suffered during a rundown and manager Don Mattingly told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times that the shortstop is not expected back for 25-30 days.

Dee Gordon was called up from Triple-A to replace Furcal on the roster and the Dodgers seem committed to giving the 23-year-old prospect a lengthy look at shortstop that will probably last through the All-Star break.

As for Furcal, this will be the third time in four years that he’s missed a significant chunk of the season with injuries after missing 126 games in 2008 and 65 games in 2010. He’s played in just 17 of the Dodgers’ first 62 games this year and sounds likely to miss at least another month. Combined in those four seasons he’ll have earned $40 million.

The Cards dealt Stephen Piscotty to the A’s, in part, so he could be near his ailing mother

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Last night we wrote about the rumored deal between the Cardinals and the Athletics for Stephen Piscotty. The deal is now official, with Piscotty going to Oakland for minor leaguers Yairo Munoz and Max Schrock.

Something else emerged about the deal today: a big reason why St. Louis traded Piscotty to Oakland as opposed to another team was so that he could be near his mother, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease last May. Piscotty and his family are from Pleasanton, California, about 35 miles from Oakland.

Here’s Cardinals GM John Mozeliak:

This was certainly a baseball trade — Piscotty became expendable for the Cardinals after they acquired Marcell Ozuna yesterday — but it was one which could’ve been made with any team with a couple of red or white chip prospects. That Mozeliak considered Piscotty’s personal situation in making the deal with the A’s is a credit to him and his staff.

The 26-year-old Piscotty hit .235 with nine homers and 39 RBIs in 107 games last season. He has hit .268 with 38 homers and 163 RBIs in 2+ major league seasons. He agreed to a six-year, $33.5 million contract extension last spring.

As for the prospects in return: Munoz, 22, hit .300 with 13 homers and 68 RBIs this year for Double-A Midland and Triple-A Nashville. Schrock, 23, batted .321 with seven homers and 46 RBIs for Midland, and was a Texas League All-Star.