Cardinals outfielder Marcell Ozuna is likely headed to the 10-day injured list after sustaining a worrisome finger injury during the club’s 3-1 loss to the Padres on Friday night. No formal timetable has been released for Ozuna’s return to regular playing time, nor has a replacement been named in his stead, though Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch hears that outfielder Tyler O’Neill may be promoted from Triple-A Memphis.
Ozuna, 28, sustained the injuries during the third inning of Friday’s game. He grounded into a force out, then dove back to first base in order to avoid a pickoff play by the Padres’ Eric Lauer. Upon replay, it appeared that the middle fingers of his right hand crumpled against the corner of the bag, and he laid on the basepath in obvious discomfort for several seconds before exiting the field with a team trainer.
While the full extent of his injuries has yet to be revealed, it’s clearly severe enough to warrant some time on the injured list. Per Goold, there’s some speculation that Ozuna may have fractured his middle finger during the incident. It was later determined that the pickoff attempt had been successful, and, following Ozuna’s departure, he was replaced in the lineup and on the field by left fielder Yairo Muñoz.
Through Friday, Ozuna carries a healthy .259/.331/.515 batting line with 20 home runs, 62 RBI, and an .847 OPS across 326 plate appearances. This figures to be his first stint on the IL since he was sidelined with a bout of right shoulder inflammation last fall.