After a spring that has already seen Chris Carpenter and Rafael Furcal lost for the season, the Cardinals have had more injury concerns crop up in the last week.
Yesterday, David Freese was placed on the disabled list with a back injury. Ryan Jackson was added to the roster to replace him.
What this means for the start of the season is that Matt Carpenter, the Cardinals starting second baseman, will shift over to third while Daniel Descalso mans second. The Cards hope to have Freese back in time for the April 8th home opener, but considering he injured his back 3 weeks ago and its still bothering him, that is not a given.
The other injury concern is Carlos Beltran. He's been bothered by a sore right pinkie toe since before the World Baseball Classic and is scheduled to take part in the game today. It doesn't sound like its a major concern, as Beltran played through the WBC with the injury, but its still worth keeping an eye on.
If a trip to the DL is necessary for Beltran, which doesn't seem likely at this point, it would likely guarantee a roster spot for the Cardinals top prospect Oscar Taveras.
However, what intrigues me with the Beltran injury is that maybe the Cardinals could decide to go with Taveras as their 4th outfielder, instead of Shane Robinson or Adron Chambers. As Brian Feldman suggested a while back, Taveras could get plenty of at bats at the major league level by splitting time with Beltran while also spelling John Jay and Matt Holliday on occassion.
The Cardinals still have Taveras in major league camp, probably just as insurance in case Beltran is not ready to go, but there's still the possibility that, as Feldman's suggests, Taveras' time is now.