Cruz moved to DL with forearm microfracture -

Cruz moved to DL with forearm microfracture

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By John Bailey By John Bailey


(BaseballStL) -- The series finale against the Pirates brought roster changes for the Cardinals prior to the 12:45 p.m. start. 

With the activation of Molina and Shane Robinson, Jermaine Curtis was optioned to Memphis after a two-day stay in St. Louis. The second move saw backup catcher Tony Cruz moved to the DL with a reported micro fracture in his left forearm. 

"It's something that's been bothering him for some time," GM John Mozeliak said. "From a medical standpoint we were advised that the best thing for him would be some rest."

Since Molina's trip to the DL to end July, Cruz has played in 14 games, catching the whole game 11 times. 

In August, Cruz has hit .225 in place of Molina, with a homer and five RBIs. According to Mozeliak, the injury affected him more at the plate than in the field, saying it's the swing that agitates the arm.

Cruz said he had felt pain consistently for at least a month -Mozeliak put the timetable at six to eight weeks- and realized in recent weeks this arm wasn't improving. 

"I wouldn't say it got worse, but it wasn't getting any better," he said in the clubhouse Thursday. "The doctor's recommended the only way it was going to get better was shutting it down. Because it is bone, and the only way bone heals itself is by resting and not doing anything."

Before the final game of the home stand, Mike Matheny praised the young catcher for playing through the pain, saying the club respected Cruz for his work while being injured. 

"You wouldn't really be able to tell by just watching him because he wasn't favoring it much at all," Matheny said. "You just don't hear a lot of complaining regardless of lack of playing time or injury, he just goes out and plays the game and does whatever he can to help us."

While Cruz may not have shown signs of injury, he said the discomfort in his arm had been nagging for some time, causing him to wear a compression sleeve.

"It was bothering me quite a bit, but you know that's part of the game," he said "It's a grind."

Following an MRI Monday, doctors advised Cruz it was best to shut down, saying further stress could lead to a more serious injury

"There was a chance of it being an actual break," he said, pointing to a spot right in the middle of his forearm, about five inches above the wrist. 

Mozeliak said the team hoped Cruz could get through the season without seeing the DL, but Molina's injury pushed him into a higher workload. 

"We thought his workload would allow him to get through the season with this but then unfortunately when Yadi got hurt, that went up quickly," the GM said. Though Cruz said he wanted to play, Mozeliak said he was unwilling to risk the young catcher's health. "I just don't think it's fair to him. He needs time to recuperate and allow that arm to get better and this is the only way to do that."

Cruz would be eligible to return August 29. 

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