Cardinals place Matz, Carlson on injured list amid batch of roster moves Monday

Liberatore, Nootbaar and Fernandez were recalled from Memphis ahead of Monday night’s series opener against the Blue Jays.
St. Louis Cardinals' Dylan Carlson is congratulated by teammates after hitting a solo home run...
St. Louis Cardinals' Dylan Carlson is congratulated by teammates after hitting a solo home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)(Jeff Roberson | AP)
Published: May. 23, 2022 at 12:28 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - The Cardinals announced a series of moves Monday afternoon that will shake up the active roster ahead of the opening game of a two-game set against the Blue Jays at Busch Stadium.

St. Louis placed both starting pitcher Steven Matz and outfielder Dylan Carlson on the injured list Monday. Matz left his start on Sunday in Pittsburgh due to shoulder stiffness after throwing just four pitches. A press release from the team Monday described his injury as a left shoulder impingement.

Carlson goes to the IL as a result of a left hamstring strain. The move is retroactive to Sunday as Carlson did not appear in Sunday’s 18-4 win over the Pirates and will evidently need additional time to recover from his ailment.

Reinforcements are on the way to replace the injured players, as Matthew Liberatore makes his return to the active roster one day after being demoted back to Memphis following his MLB debut on Saturday. Liberatore pitched 4.2 innings Saturday, allowing four earned runs while striking out three. It wasn’t the debut he had envisioned in the box score, but Liberatore showed a capable repertoire and now projects for additional opportunities in the rotation while the next steps are determined for Matz.

Lars Nootbaar rejoins the Cardinals fresh off a big game for Memphis on Sunday in which he swatted three home runs, including a grand slam. During his initial stint with the MLB club this season, Nootbaar batted just .125 (2-for-16) as a reserve bat off the bench. Since he wasn’t drawing enough playing time to support his development in St. Louis, the Cardinals sent him to Triple-A to see everyday at-bats; Nootbaar responded with a strong .275/.400/.650 batting line for an OPS of 1.050 with four home runs in 50 plate appearances.

Elsewhere in the team’s transaction log for Monday, right-handed pitcher Angel Rondon was optioned back to Memphis in favor of Junior Fernandez as the Cardinals continue to churn through fresh bullpen arms. Rondon performed admirably following Matz’s premature exit Sunday, tossing five scoreless innings of relief while allowing only one base hit against the Pirates.

After throwing a season-high 86 pitches on Sunday, however, the cruel reality is that Rondon won’t be available to pitch out of the St. Louis bullpen in the next few days. It’s for that reason--not due to his performance--that the Cardinals swapped Rondon with Fernandez, who has not pitched for Memphis since Friday and is therefore rested and available.