Cardinals place OF Ryan Ludwick on 15-day DL -

Cardinals place OF Ryan Ludwick on 15-day DL

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Ryan Ludwick thought he was close to playing. Now it'll be after the All-Star break before he's back in the St. Louis Cardinals' lineup.

Ludwick, whose .446 average with runners in scoring position leads the National League, was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday because of a strained left calf. The Cardinals recalled outfielder Jon Jay from Triple-A Memphis to fill the roster spot.

Ludwick told manager Tony La Russa he felt good enough to pinch hit on Friday, then aggravated the injury during a treadmill workout. He had missed nine of the previous 10 games, first injuring the calf on the artificial turf in Toronto and then sustaining a strain tagging up on a sacrifice fly in Kansas City June 25.

The move was made retroactive to last Saturday, and the team is hopeful he'll be ready after the All-Star break.

St. Louis also could get pitcher Brad Penny (upper back) back after the break, although their other injured starter, Kyle Lohse (forearm surgery), is at least a month away. Penny threw a light bullpen session Saturday and is scheduled for a simulated game Tuesday in Colorado, while Lohse is playing catch two out of every three days.

La Russa was certain Ludwick was going on the DL on Friday, but the team gave him a day of healing just in case. La Russa said the decision Saturday was "easy."

"I think they kind of wanted to see how I woke up this morning," Ludwick said. "It's a little tender, nothing that bad, it just needs rest."

Ludwick was batting .273 with 11 homers and 42 RBIs, third-best on the team.

Randy Winn and Nick Stavinoha have been splitting time in right field since Ludwick's been sidelined.

"Just a tough break," Ludwick said. "I'll rehab and get ready to go hopefully after the All-Star break."

Jay batted .302 with a homer and four RBIs in 26 games earlier this season in his first stint in the majors. He also had three outfield assists and went 6 for 16 as a pinch hitter.

Jay was hitting .321 with four homers and 32 RBIs at Memphis, also going a perfect 13 for 13 on stolen-base attempts.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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