Just yesterday, the Cardinals hoped to get their rookie third baseman back by as soon as next week. Now they won’t have him back again until next season.
David Freese will undergo season-ending surgery to repair tendon damage in his right ankle, according to Matthew Leach of MLB.com.
Freese re-injured the ankle during the first game of a minor league rehab assignment with Double-A Springfield on Monday night. According to Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak, it is a new injury in the same area of the ankle that landed him on the disabled list in late-June.
The 27-year-old Freese was a pleasant surprise for the Redbirds this season, batting .296/.361/.404 with four homers, 12 doubles and 36 RBI over 240 at-bats. Felipe Lopez, who has been the primarily fill-in during Freese’s absence, should be the everyday third baseman moving forward. He has a .267/.341/.395 batting line to go along with six homers and 29 RBI in 281 at-bats this season. It’s worth noting that he is currently dealing with a knee injury.
Lopez is a fine utility player, which is why the Cardinals signed him, but after trading away Ryan Ludwick over the weekend, they could be starved for offense down the stretch.