Lars Nootbaar lands on IL, Cardinals recall Jose Fermin

The Cardinals have been playing much better baseball, but a key piece has gone down in Lars Nootbaar. Jose Fermin has been recalled from Memphis.
St. Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds
St. Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

Things are looking up for the Cardinals as they begin their three-game weekend series against the Phillies, the team with the best record in all of baseball.

The bats are booming, just as we thought they would, and the pitching staff has performed better too. Now, the Cardinals sit at .500 and in second place in the NL Central.

Unfortunately, they'll begin their series against the Phillies one man down. Lars Nootbaar left Wednesday's game with an oblique issue and went in for an MRI on Thursday.

This morning, the Cardinals announced that Nootbaar was headed to the 10-day injured list. Infielder Jose Fermin has been recalled from Triple-A Memphis.

Cards lose Nootbaar ahead of Phillies series

Nootbaar has been performing quite well since he returned from the injured list on April 12. He struggled at first but has seemingly found his groove again, which makes losing him hurt that much more.

This is a big blow to the Cardinals' offense. Nootbaar has been a table setter for this team. If his oblique injury is anything like Matt Carpenter's, he may be on the shelf for a while.

The young outfielder has become a key piece in the Cardinals' offense. However, he has struggled to remain healthy and even landed on the injured list three times last season

In his absence, the Cardinals will likely use Alec Burleson in the outfield more frequently. He had served as the primary designated hitter prior to Nootbaar's injury.

Nootbaar is hitting .234 with five home runs, 19 RBI, and a .741 OPS to start the season. It was a rib injury that kept him out for the first two weeks of the season.

Fermin has performed well at Triple-A Memphis, hitting .346 with six home runs. He also has stolen 10 bases in as many attempts. The Cardinals will hope that he can continue his success at the Major League level in Nootbaar's absence.