After a fantastic start to the 2014 MLB season, St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Joe Kelly will be out of action for at least two weeks.
According to the Cards' official Twitter account, Kelly has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring injury:
#STLCards place RHP Joe Kelly (left hamstring strain) on the 15-day disabled list & option reliever Keith Butler to Memphis (AAA).— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) April 17, 2014
Kelly was forced to leave his start against the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday as he came up lame while running to first base, per Adam McCalvy of MLB.com:
Joe Kelly grabbed his left hamstring after crossing first base, Being tended by a trainer right now.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) April 16, 2014
Following a decent 2012 campaign, Kelly truly burst onto the scene last season. He posted a 10-5 record with a sparkling 2.69 ERA. The 25-year-old righty has already started to improve upon that production in 2014 as he is currently 1-1 with a 0.59 ERA through three starts.
The absence of Kelly could potentially hurt, but it will give the Cardinals a chance to showcase their depth, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today:
The #Stlcards depth will be tested early w starter Joe Kelly going on DL w strained hamstring.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) April 17, 2014
With the likes of Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, Shelby Miller and Lance Lynn also in the starting rotation, though, St. Louis should be able to keep its head above water.
It can be argued that the Cardinals have the best rotation in the league from top to bottom when Kelly is in the fold, so Cards fans are certainly hopeful that Kelly's injury isn't a long-term situation.
St. Louis is off to a very strong start with a record of 9-6, and it has managed to excel through injuries and losses through free agency on a regular basis over the past few years.
No team is better equipped to handle an injury than the defending National League champions, and they will almost certainly prove that in the coming weeks.
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