Jason Motte has mild strain in elbow; likely on DL
Jason Motte at Cardinals Spring Training - February 22, 2013 By Bryce Moore
St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Jason Motte fields grounders at spring training baseball, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, in Jupiter, Fla. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) By Julio Cortez
ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 1: Reliever Jason Motte #30 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the Cincinnati Reds at Busch Stadium on October 1, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) By Dilip Vishwanat
JUPITER, Fla - Jason Motte is likely to start the season on the disabled list with a mild muscle flexor strain in his pitching elbow. The length of time he'll miss at this point is undetermined, but he is currently shut down for the time being.
"Fingers were crossed that this wouldn't be something that would land him on the DL but it likely will," GM John Mozeliak said.
Motte last pitched on Thursday in Port St. Lucie against the Mets and threw his last pitch at 97 miles per hour. It was afterwards that the Cards closer says he first felt discomfort.
"I felt fine in Port St. Lucie, the ball felt like it was coming out great," Motte said. "On the bus ride home I was sitting there, texting, I set my phone down and it tightened up a little bit in my forearm. So I get off the bus, I call my wife, and I said 'something feels a little weird'."
Mozeliak says they are not sure how much time Motte will miss.
"Anytime you're dealing with the elbow, as we learned through Furcal, you can try to be as patient as you want but sometimes the outcome isn't always positive. When you look back to (Skip) Schumaker and (Nick) Punto, it did work out so we'll see," Mozeliak said.
As for what this means on the field, manager Mike Matheny says setup man Mitchell Boggs will get the first opportunity at taking the closers role.
This also likely means Shelby Miller, Joe Kelly and Fernando Salas will all make the 25-man roster to begin the season. Kelly could be a natural fit in the bullpen with Miller in the rotation. Both the potential fifth starters will take the ball on Monday in Fort Myers.