Lance Lynn and Cardinals manager Mike Matheny both downplayed the seriousness of his forearm soreness following Sunday’s game, but the right-hander has traveled back to St. Louis to undergo an MRI exam.
General manager John Mozeliak told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch that the team won’t address Lynn’s status until Friday and gave no indication whether he’s expected to make his next scheduled start Saturday.
St. Louis has the best record in baseball despite losing ace Adam Wainwright for the season, in part because Lynn has stepped up to become one of the best starters in the league with a 2.83 ERA in 45 starts dating back to last year.
St. Louis has placed left fielder Matt Holliday on the disabled list with a strained quadriceps muscle suffered during Monday’s game.
Holliday has remained very valuable at age 35 despite his power disappearing by hitting .303 with a 39/33 K/BB ratio in 52 games for a career-high .417 on-base percentage that ranks fourth among NL hitters.
They’re already without first baseman Matt Adams, possibly for the remainder of the season, but the Cardinals are still relatively well equipped to handle Hollliday’s absence thanks to the presence of 23-year-old Randal Grichuk.
And of course having an MLB-best 38-20 record helps too.
Justin Verlander is finally healthy after being sidelined since spring training with a triceps injury and the Tigers announced that he’ll come off the disabled list to make his season debut Saturday against the Indians.
Verlander made his second-minor league rehab start Saturday at Triple-A, striking out nine batters in 5.2 innings to convince the Tigers that he’s ready to return. He threw 93 pitches in that outing, so he should be just about fully stretched out.
As for what to expect from Verlander, that’s awfully tough to say. Even before this injury derailed him for the start of this season the former MVP and Cy Young winner looked like a big question mark at age 32. He allowed the most earned runs in the league last season, posting a 4.54 ERA with just 6.9 strikeouts per nine innings and diminished velocity.
He’s signed through 2019 at an average of $28 million per season and the Tigers have lost 14 of their last 21 games, so they desperately need Verlander to get back on track and stay healthy.