ST. LOUIS (AP) St. Louis Cardinals closer Jason Motte faces reconstructive elbow surgery if his condition does not improve in the next three weeks or so.
It would be another huge blow to a team that has already lost pitcher Chris Carpenter and shortstop Rafael Furcal for the season. The Cardinals pretty much stood pat after losing to the San Francisco Giants in the NL championship series last fall.
Motte, who had a career-high 42 saves last season, has been shut down since late March because of a strained right elbow. He was not cleared to throw after an MRI exam Tuesday didn't show sufficient improvement.
General manager John Mozeliak said the team should have a good idea by early May whether the 30-year-old right-hander would be able to pitch this season.
"Surgery is definitely on the table if he's not throwing by then," Mozeliak said. "Rather than drag this thing out all summer, we put a soft deadline on it to find out."
The news comes a day after stand-in closer Mitchell Bo...