The Cardinals have placed infielder Felipe Lopez on the 15-day disabled list with a Grade 1 strain of his right elbow, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Lopez had been sidelined since last week due to discomfort in the elbow, but it’s amazing how much this has flown under the radar considering that he threw 21 pitches in the 20-inning marathon against the Mets last Saturday.
It’s only natural that some will assume there’s some sort of connection between the two, but Tony La Russa tells Goold that he doesn’t believe that’s the case.
“I don’t think so,” La Russa said. “If you looked at his throws (from the
mound) they were less stressful than from shortstop or third base.“
In fact, according to what LaRussa told Matthew Leach of MLB.com, Lopez felt discomfort in his elbow as early as April 11 — nearly a week before he pitched against the Mets — but he didn’t notify the team about the problem until two days later.
I really want to hop on my soapbox and call Lopez a bonehead here — remember, he even threw a couple curveballs on the bad elbow, as entertaining as it was — but it’s really hard to say that whatever soreness or discomfort he was feeling on April 11 didn’t feel any different than normal soreness that a player deals with throughout the course of a season. It’s a fine line. So while I won’t call Lopez a reckless jerk here, you can bet that La Russa will think twice — or at least ask the proper questions — before allowing a position player to pitch again.