Carpenter placed on 15-day disabled list, Cardinals urge patienc -

Carpenter placed on 15-day disabled list, Cardinals urge patience in recovery

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ST. LOUIS ( -- As expected, the Cardinals have placed Matt Carpenter in the 15 day disabled list with a strained right oblique.

The injury happened Wednesday night in the bottom of the third inning, when the All-Star leadoff man tried to check his swing.

After an MRI Wednesday night, the team determined Carpenter would be shut down, possibly for an extended period of time.

“Carp is going to kind of be careful with this,” Mike Matheny said. “This is the kind of injury that you can’t push through. He’s a tough player and he’s been given the sermon already. If you try to push this, it can last a lot longer.”

Matheny knows from experience. The famous tough catcher suffered a similar injury in 1998 and tried to push through it, eventually landing himself on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

“I remember I didn’t listen to anything they said and it took a lot longer than it was supposed to,” he said, recalling his attempts to fight through his injury. “You do dumb things like bending until it hurts or rotating like they tell you not to. If you’re real dumb, you go home and throw a baseball into the couch or swing a Wiffle ball bat.”

Carpenter is notorious for pushing his body as hard as possible, a character trait that caused him to miss time with extreme exhaustion last season. He hates being idle, so sitting still and letting time heal his injury is something that runs counter to his nature.

But Matheny said his best hitter is well aware of the consequences of rushing his recovery this time.

“I think he’s scared enough right now. I happened to walk in while the trainers were telling him what he needed to be aware of and I gave him my story. I was able to play through a bunch of things people told me I couldn’t play through, but that was the one. That was the first time I ever went on the DL in my life,” he said.

In response to Carpenter’s move to the disabled list, the Cardinals purchased the contract of 31-year-old Michael McKenry.

The catcher has played 24 games at Triple-A Memphis after beginning the season with Round Rock (Texas Rangers). In his time with the Redbirds, he’s hit .341 with an OPS of 1.126. He has five doubles, four triples and five home runs, including a walk-off bomb Wednesday night.

“We were trying to get the best bat more than anything else,” Matheny explained of the move. “Who would be a bat that’s as close to ready as possible?”

Though he’s a catcher, the Cardinals plan to use McKenry as a bat off the bench.

Despite needing to turn to a relative unknown in the wake of Carpenter’s injury, and the injuries to Jhonny Peralta, Brandon Moss and Brayan Pena in recent days, Matheny is steadfast in his belief the Cardinals can weather the storm. After all, 2015 saw them send key players to the disabled list all season and they managed the best record in baseball.

“It helps our guys to know. We talked about this last year,” he said. “Just refusing to buy into anybody else’s speculation of what this means. It’s an easy trap to fall into where you’re taking outside information and making it gospel truth.”

Carpenter will most likely be out for a month. When he suffered the same injury in 2012, it took that long to get back on the field, and the Cardinal medical team just went through this scenario with Tommy Pham, who also missed almost a month exactly.

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