Freese to begin season on DL; Jackson to make club

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Due to a lingering back injury, David Freese will begin the season on the disabled list, the Cardinals announced on Tuesday. The news comes one days after Freese characterized being ready by Opening Day next Monday as a “possibility.”

An MRI on Monday identified inflammation in Freese’s lower back. He had an anti-inflammatory shot on Monday to address that issue, but that also meant Freese would have to stay off the field until at least Thursday. The Cardinals wrap up their spring schedule on Friday.

Because Freese last played in a Grapefruit League game on March 22, the Cardinals can backdate his 15-day DL stint nine days, meaning that the third baseman would be eligible to come off on April 7. General manager John Mozeliak said that the club is targeting the April 8 home opener as a return date for Freese.

In conjunction with moving Freese to the DL, the Cardinals have brought Ryan Jackson back from Minor League camp and will give him a place on the 25-man roster until Freese returns. Matt Carpenter is slated to be the team’s third baseman during Freese’s absence, meaning that Daniel Descalso will start at second.

Freese has taken only 16 at-bats since he bruised his tailbone after tumbling into the stands trying to make a catch on March 4. Only six of those at-bats have come since March 14.

“It’s just more of a practical matter in the sense that he hasn’t played nine innings all spring,” Mozeliak said. “He hasn’t gotten a lot of at-bats over the last two weeks in an aggregate sense. Looking ahead at what’s best for David is to get him some at-bats next week where he could get a lot of work in.”

Freese will remain Jupiter to get those at-bats during the Cardinals’ extended Spring Training.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

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