On Tuesday, the St. Louis Cardinals placed third baseman David Freese on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 23. The 29-year-old suffered a lower back strain on March 14. Freese returned for two games last Thursday and Friday, then had an MRI followed by an injection. The club hopes the right-handed hitter can be activated in time for the April 8 home opener. Freese had appeared in 12 spring games, batting .267 with two home runs and five RBI.
The Cardinals also announced the optioning of left-handed pitcher Sam Freeman to Triple-A Memphis and recalled infielder Ryan Jackson from the Memphis roster to temporarily take Freese’s place with St. Louis.
Jackson had been optioned to Memphis on March 17. The 24-year-old had appeared in 17 Grapefruit League games all around the infield prior to that move and appeared tentative defensively at times. Jackson collected just three hits in 22 at-bats (.136) this spring. The right-handed hitter struck out six times, grounded into three double plays and drew one walk.
He did not let the demotion bother him. In minor league camp, playing every day, Jackson has been a different player. In a six-game hitting streak that began on March 20, he is 10-for-19 (.526) with four doubles and a home run. Jackson has walked twice, scored twice and drove in three.
Freeman had been slowed by shoulder soreness. The left-hander made just two spring appearances – one before and one after his time out. They were exactly one month apart, on February 24 and last Sunday, March 24.
The 25-year-old allowed four earned runs in 1 1/3 innings of work. With the left-handed relief situation in St. Louis unsettled, a healthy Freeman could become a factor before the season is out.
These roster moves have reduced the number of players on the Cardinals’ Major League spring roster to 31. That includes 14 pitchers and 17 position players. 28 are currently on the 40-man roster with three non-roster invitees still in camp.
To see the Cardinals entire 40-man roster and the non-roster spring training invitees, check out the Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation blog.
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Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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