Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Sports

Cards lose starting shortstop

JUPITER — Cardinals shortstop Jhonny Peralta injured his left thumb and could miss the first two months of the season.

General manager John Mozeliak said Peralta is expected to return to St. Louis for a second opinion of what he said may be a damaged ulnar collateral ligament.

"We did take an image of it and it does look like it's been torn," Mozeliak said Monday. "The severity of that is still something that is being discussed, but the initial read is not positive."

Peralta hurt his glove hand while fielding a ground ball during Saturday's spring game against the Marlins. Mozeliak said Peralta felt pain but wasn't too worried. Peralta didn't play Sunday and left the Cardinals' complex before Monday's game against the Mets.

"He felt some discomfort, but he certainly didn't think it would be to this level," Mozeliak said.

Since signing with the Cardinals two years ago, Peralta has played in 312 of 324 regular-season games, hitting .269 with a .335 on-base percentage and a .427 slugging percentage. He was an All-Star last season.

Mozeliak sees three alternatives on the current roster.

A second baseman during his time with San Diego, Jedd Gyorko last played shortstop regularly in college. Used primarily as a utility infielder, Greg Garcia played in 63 games for the Cardinals over the past two seasons, including 13 at shortstop. He is a career .225 hitter.

Aledmys Diaz, a Cuban signed in 2014, hit .264 with 10 homers for Double-A Springfield last season and also played 14 games at Triple-A Memphis.

"We brought Jedd Gyorko in to give us some protection in the middle," Mozeliak said. "I think Garcia and Diaz may ultimately have a larger role in this. Depending on the outcome of the second opinion will dictate if we have to look outside."

REYES CASE: Commissioner Rob Manfred said he won't decide on discipline for Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes until after Reyes' domestic violence case plays out in court. Manfred placed Reyes on paid suspension ahead of spring training under the domestic violence agreement reached in August. Manfred also said he met with the players' association last week to begin collective bargaining for an agreement to replace the one that expires Dec. 1.

BREWERS: Outfielder Ryan Braun won't make his spring debut until the third week of games as he recovers from October back surgery. Braun is still expected to be ready for opening day.

MARLINS: Rightfielder Giancarlo Stanton sat out because of a sore right knee and visited team physician Lee Kaplan. … Right-hander Jose Fernandez, a former Alonso standout who was limited to 642/3 innings last season after he returned from Tommy John surgery, pitched two hitless innings in his spring training debut against the Nationals.

ROCKIES: Right-handed reliever Jairo Diaz needs Tommy John elbow surgery and will be sidelined for the 2016 season.

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