Rafael Furcal had to leave last night’s Cards-Astros game due to a tight left hamstring. It seems now that he’s going to need a coupe of days to recover. Since there are only a couple of days in the season that means that the Cardinals will have to win or lose the wild card without him.
In his place: likely Nick Punto, according to Matt Leach of MLB.com. No word on whether Ryan Theriot will play a part. Which is strange because, after all, the Cardinals were in first place back when he was the starting shortstop.
Oh well. It is what it is.
Update (12:58 AM ET): Per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Samardzija has been diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle. He’ll be shut down for a week. That’s good news for the Giants, considering the alternatives.
Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.
This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.
Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.