St. Louis Cardinals: Kevin Siegrist Experiencing Shoulder Tightness

St. Louis Cardinals lefty and late-inning specialist Kevin Siegrist skipped a throwing session today due to tightness in his pitching shoulder.

It’s day two of St. Louis Cardinals camp. Already, the team knows it will be without its top prospect, Alex Reyes, for the entirety of the season. This morning, the status of primary set-up reliever Kevin Siegrist was put on hold due to left shoulder discomfort. He’ll likely be prescribed rest for a few days and try to give it a go sometime this weekend or early next week.

Cardinals fans might be tempted to adopt a “the-sky-is-falling” mentality already on day two of Spring Training, but it’s important to remember that despite the bleak news on Reyes and the latest on Siegrist, it’s not entirely uncommon for pitchers to experience some discomfort at the beginning of camp.

The purpose of Spring Training for pitchers is to steadily build strength and stamina so that they’re ready to take on a regular workload by the beginning of the season. Some pitchers have more obstacles than others in readying for Opening Day.

Siegrist experienced similar shoulder soreness in Spring Training 2014 which caused him to skip a side session. He was active on the Opening Day roster that season. Jenifer Langosch tweeted earlier today that Siegrist is dealing with a “little shoulder tightness”, according to Manager Mike Matheny:

Siegrist has landed on the disabled list twice in his career, once in a tumultuous 2014 due to a forearm strain, and once last season when he contracted mononucleosis. Siegrist went 6-3 with a 2.77 ERA in 67 appearances in 2016. He led the team with 17 holds and held opposing hitters to a .193 average. In all four of his big-league seasons, he’s recorded more strikeouts than innings pitched.

He’s set to be a critical piece of the St. Louis bullpen this season. He will be tasked with preserving leads in the late innings for closer Seung-hwan Oh. I wrote earlier this week about the state of the Cardinals’ bullpen, adding that it might be wise for the team to search the market for another reliever.

With Reyes out, Michael Wacha is likely to begin the season in the starting rotation, although he’ll first have to prove he’s healthy enough.

That leaves a spot open in the bullpen. My guess is it goes to Miguel Socolovich, mostly because he is out of minor-league options. He’s also pitched well the last two seasons given limited work, recording ERAs of 1.82 and 2.00 in 2015 and 2016. He surrendered only five hits in 18 innings of work last year.

As of now, the Siegrist move is going to be described by the team as precautionary. The hope is he’ll be able to throw without limitations on Friday and that he’ll be on track for the beginning of the season. If this develops into a deeper injury concern, the Cardinals will be left with another bullpen spot available and their pitching depth really beginning to be tested.

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Stay right here as we provide you with the latest on Siegrist and other developing stories from Cardinals camp in Jupiter, Florida.