Found September 01, 2012 on
Fox Sports Midwest:
The Cardinals probably don't win the World Series a year ago if not for Rafael Furcal. Now they'll attempt to win it again without him.
The shortstop was placed on the disabled list Friday and will likely miss the rest of the season with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. The All-Star suffered the injury on Friday night while making a throw to second base.
Furcal got off to a hot start at the plate in April and May but saw his numbers go down fast and they never stopped dropping. The switch-hitter batted just .215 since June 1 and was recently dropped down to No. 8 in the batting order. He hit .264 in ?? games overall.
But while his departure from the lineup may not be felt as much offensively, the 34-year-old will surely be missed in the field. The slick-fielding Furcal helped stabilize the Cardinals defense up the middle when he arrived at the trading deadline last year and he was doing more of the same in 2012.
Furcal, who surprisingly hasn't won a Gold Glove in his 13-year career, has been a huge asset for the groundball oriented Cardinals pitching staff. While not providing much lately at the plate, he's more than made up for it by saving runs with his glove.
The shortstop also provides an emotional element in the clubhouse that will now be missed. Furcal coined the now famous phrase, Happy Flight' when he arrived last summer and routinely plays music and makes noise in the Cardinals locker room. He'll likely still be around. Whether or not he's his usual self remains to be seen.
So what do the Cardinals do from here? That's where things get tricky. At first glance of their system, shortstop appears to be the one position where they don't have a talented prospect on the horizon or ready to make the jump to the big leagues.
Utility infielder Dan Descalso, who has played mostly at second base this year, figures to get the majority of the playing time at short. He's considered an above-average fielder like Furcal but is hitting just .221 on the season. His move to short would leave Skip Schumaker as the primary candidate for playing time at second.
The Cardinals promoted former first round pick Pete Kozma from Triple-A on Friday to take Furcal's spot on the roster. Kozma started at shortstop and batted eighth, going 0-for-2 before being removed in a double switch.
But adding Kozma to the mix didn't exactly send shockwaves through the rest of the National League. He was hitting just .232 in 131 games at Triple-A and has a career .236 average in six seasons in the minor leagues. He's a defensive specialist and likely won't see significant playing time.
Shortstop Ryan Jackson had been with the big league club for a few weeks while Lance Berkman was out but he returned to Memphis to get regular playing time before their season ends next week. He'll be back in a few days, but had just one hit in eight at-bats and also projects as more of a defensive shortstop.
With Descalso Jackson and Kozma as the three options to replace Furcal down the stretch, the Cardinals might not be in as bad of shape as it appears. Furcal wasn't providing much offensively for several weeks so filling his void with a defensive-minded shortstop won't change much.
As the calendar turns to September Saturday and the Cardinals look to hold off the Pirates and Dodgers for the second wild card spot, losing Furcal certainly doesn't help their chances of getting back to the playoffs. But they've got no choice but to hope the trio of young players can make do. And that the rest of the offense starts hitting.
BEST OF MAXIM
St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal will likely miss the remainder of the season with a right elbow injury, MLB.com reported Friday. Initial tests on the elbow showed damage to the ulnar collateral ligament. He was injured during the Cardinals' game on Thursday when he said he felt "a pop" and tingling after several throws. He left the game after grabbing...
Between when Rafael Furcal was injured Thursday night and when he was placed on the disabled list on Friday, the St. Louis Cardinals had several decisions to make.
Did they try to rush to sign a free agent shortstop or stay in-house? Even if they had gone the former route, they would have needed interim help during the big Washington series this weekend.
The organization surprisingly...
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The St. Louis Cardinals lost their third straight game -- and maybe their All-Star shortstop, too.
Rafael Furcal might return home from the team's road trip for further tests after straining his right elbow in an 8-1 loss to the Washington Nationals on Thursday night.
Furcal was asked whether he was concerned the injury could end his season.
It took a throwing error by Washington third baseman Ryan Zimmerman to break the St. Louis Cardinals' scoreless streak at 28 innings Thursday night. But it was a blip on the radar. The Cardinals were thrashed for the third straight night, 8-1, by Washington. That came on the heels of 9-0 and 5-0 losses to Pittsburgh. When they lost to Pittsburgh right-hander James McDonald...
ST. LOUIS, Mo., August 31, 2012 – The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have placed SS Rafael Furcal on the 15-day disabled list with a right elbow strain. Furcal suffered the injury during Thursday night’s game vs. the Washington Nationals.
Replacing Furcal on the 25-man roster is shortstop Pete Kozma. Kozma is making his second appearance at the Major League level...
Hot News for SS Rafael Furcal
Hot News for SS Rafael Furcal
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter threw two simulated innings of live batting practice on Friday six weeks after undergoing what was considered season-ending surgery to repair a nerve injury in his right shoulder.
''We went into today going out and face hitters if everything's going good. Take that next step and see what happens,'' said the 37-year...
With one thunderous swing of his bat, the St. Louis Cardinals season went from bad to worse. In fact, stick a long overdue fork in these guys. They’re finished.
I don’t care that they were 10 games out at this point last year. I don’t care that they got a ring last year. The 19-year old phenom just buried them. And I of course was stupid enough to stream Jaime Garcia on my...
St. Louis Cardinals weekly chat on KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines.
Late Thursday afternoon, I joined Ken Miller on KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines in our regular series to discuss the St. Louis Cardinals, “Cardinal Talk.” This week, we discussed the Cardinals upcoming battle with the NL East first-place Washington Nationals.
Cardinals followers in central...
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The St. Louis Cardinals activated OF-1B Lance Berkman from the 15-day disabled list and recalled left-hander Sam Freeman from Triple-A Memphis.
Berkman, out since Aug. 3 with a right knee injury, will initially be limited to a pinch-hitting role, manager Mike Matheny said Saturday before the Cardinals game against the Washington Nationals.
In 28 games this season...
David Freese homered, drove in three runs and had a go-ahead single in the ninth inning Saturday as the St. Louis Cardinals ended a four-game skid with a wild, 10-9 win over the Washington Nationals.
Matt Holliday also homered and Matt Carpenter smacked a three-run double for the Cardinals, who had scored only one run during their four losses while allowing 32. Freese, John Jay...
APNewsNow. St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter threw two simulated innings of live batting practice on Friday six weeks after undergoing what was considered season-ending surgery to repair a nerve injury in his right shoulder.
''We went into today going out and face hitters if everything's going good. Take that next step and see what happens,'' said the...
Hot News for OF Lance Berkman