Rafael Furcal shut down indefinitely


I’ve got a bad feeling about this. The phrase, often used in Star Wars movies, could apply to the current situation for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Feb 19, 2013; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal (15) poses for a picture during photo day at Roger Dean Stadium. Image Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Rafael Furcal, who tore a ligament in his elbow at the end of August, is not getting any better. He had targeted yesterday for testing his right elbow but that didn’t happen. The bad news:

"The Cardinals’ season is slated to start four weeks from Monday night in Arizona, and Furcal hasn’t played in the field yet in spring training. Ronny Cedeno, signed as a free agent, hasn’t been good at bat, hitting .167 and he made two bad throwing errors on Saturday in a 6-2 loss to Washington."

The slightly better news, depending on which way you read it:

"Pete Kozma, who finished last season as the shortstop, might well start this one as the shortstop if he continues to hit (he is at .333) and play decently in the field."

Rick Hummel reported this morning that Furcal has been shut down by the Cardinals and the short stop will be examinded by medical director Dr. George Paletta.

This is the second year of a two-year deal with the Cardinals and Furcal is looking like the Lance Berkman of the 2013 season with regards to dealing with injuries this season. While Furcal had hoped to avoid surgery, it may very well be his only option.

The surgery would likely erase the season for Furcal. It’s a shame, too. He’s a solid player since coming up with the Atlanta Braves in 2000 and winning the Rookie of the Year. Depending on how well Kozma does in his place, this could mean that a trade could possibly be made in July for a replacement, maybe a short stop from the Rockies.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny is dealing with some health issues of his own, according to Derrick Goold, as he has a ruptured disc that might require surgery.

"Matheny said that he has a ruptured disc in his back and that particles from the rupture are pressing against the nerve. That is causing the numbness in his leg."

I offer my thoughts and prayers to the skipper.