Postcard from Cardinals spring training camp for Saturday, March 11, 2023

Postcard from Cardinals spring training camp for Saturday, March 11, 2023

Weather: 85 degrees, partly cloudy

Result: Astros 3, Cardinals 2

By Rob Rains

JUPITER, Fla. – The Cardinals hope to know more on Sunday about the status of top prospect Jordan Walker, who had to leave Saturday’s game because of a shoulder injury.

Walker suffered what the team described as a right shoulder strain on a head-first slide into second base in the first inning of the game against the Astros in West Palm Beach.

Walker initially remained in the game before leaving the dugout and walking to the clubhouse with a trainer in the second inning.

The team described Walker’s status as “day to day” and said he will be re-evaluated on Sunday.

Walker had been enjoying a great spring, hitting .424 with three home runs, as the 20-year-old outfielder was trying to earn a spot on the Cardinals’ opening day roster after playing last season in Double A.

Walker was injured when he hit a hard ground ball to second and hustled to beat the throw to first, which was wild. Walker then continued on to second base, again beating the throw, but was hurt on the head-first slide into the base.

Here is how Saturday’s game broke down:

High: Willson Contreras, who came into the game with just two hits in 13 at-bats this spring, had a pair of singles.

Low: Walker having to leave the game after injuring his right shoulder.

At the plate: The Cardinals were held to just five hits. Their only RBI in the game came on a double from Chase Pinder, who came into the game after Walker was injured … In addition to his two singles, Contreras also stole a base while Brendan Donovan had a single and scored one of the runs in the third inning … Minor-leaguer Won-bin Cho, signed as a minor-league free agent out of South Korea last year, got into the game and popped out in his only at-bat.

On the mound: Jack Flaherty worked four innings, allowing two runs on five hits. He struck out two and did not walk a batter … The Cardinals got scoreless innings of relief from Wilking Rodriguez, Zack Thompson, Packy Naughton and Kodi Whitley … Thompson was able to pitch around two hits by getting a double play; he has now worked five innings this spring without allowing a run … The Astros won the game in the bottom of the ninth on a sacrifice fly after James Naile issued a one-out walk that came around to score.

Worth noting: After missing several days with a sore ankle, Alec Burleson started in right field and was hitless in four at-bats … Paul DeJong was 0-of-3, dropping his spring average to .154…. Top pitching prospects Gordon Graceffo and Michael McGreevy were among seven players sent back to the minor-league camp on Saturday. Also reassigned were pitchers Jake Walsh and Dalton Roach; catchers Nick Raposo and Wade Stauss and infielder Jose Fermin. The moves leave 51 players in camp, including those away participating in the World Baseball Classic.

Up next: The Cardinals will host the Nationals on Sunday with Steven Matz set to make his second start.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

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