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Cardinals' Marcell Ozuna to Be Placed on IL After Injuring Finger Diving to Base

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJune 29, 2019

St. Louis Cardinals' Marcell Ozuna, right, hits a two-run home run as Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal, left, and home plate umpire Jim Wolf watch during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Marcell Ozuna is going to miss time after suffering a finger injury during Friday's 3-1 loss to the San Diego Padres.

Manager Mike Shildt told reporters after the game "it's significant enough for him to go on the [injured list]."Β 

The injury occurred during the top of the third inning as Ozuna slid into first base when Padres starter Eric Lauer attempted a pickoff throw. He was removed from the game after being examined by a trainer.

"It's a dent, for sure," Shildt said. "This is a guy who's had an All-Star-caliber first half in all facets of the gameβ€”excellent defense, runs the bases really well and, clearly, he's hit 20 homers. We've got to find a way to replace him."

Despite this setback, he has been fairly durable of late and played at least 148 games in each of the past three seasons.

Ozuna was an All-Star in each of his last two years with the Miami Marlins and won a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger award in 2017 behind a .312/.376/.548 slash line, 37 home runs and 124 RBI. While his numbers declined in his first season with the Cardinals after they acquired him via trade in December 2017, he was still productive at .280/.325/.433 with 23 home runs and 88 RBI.

He has had a strong comeback in 2019, with a .261/.333/.519 slash line, 20 homers and 62 RBI.

The Cardinals can use Jose MartinezΒ in left field until Ozuna is able to return, with Dexter Fowler staying in right field. Ozuna's absence is a significant loss for a St. Louis offense that's scored just eight runs during its current four-game losing streak.