Shorthanded Cardinals outfield suffers yet another injury setback

The Cardinals may be without center fielder Tommy Edman for a few more weeks than initially anticipated.
Houston Astros v St. Louis Cardinals
Houston Astros v St. Louis Cardinals / Scott Kane/GettyImages

The Cardinals outfield mix has once again been one of the most frustrating aspects of the team this season. The projected starting three, Lars Nootbaar, Tommy Edman, and Jordan Walker, have just not panned out, and none of the three are currently on the active roster. Edman, in particular, has been the most puzzling situation, as what seemed to be a minor wrist injury has lingered into mid-June. Tommy Edman still hasn't played a game for the Cardinals this season at any level, and the narrative surrounding his health continues to change.

When asked about his status at the bloggers and podcasters event a few weeks ago, John Mozeliak expressed optimism perhaps for the first time all year, stating that Edman's return would likely take place before the end of June. This appeared to be the first piece of good news regarding Edman's status since the start of the year, but it seems Mo's comments were again premature.

In a recent interview on MLB Network's High Heat, Mozeliak told Alanna Rizzo that while he expected Edman to return this season, his return would take place around the All-Star Break (hopefully before), but not the initial timetable he provided the bloggers and podcasters just over a week ago. Edman has faced live pitching for the first time this year and could be heading on a lengthy rehab assignment shortly, but it's not a great sign for the injured center fielder. After all, Edman was supposed to be ready for Opening Day during Winter Warm-Up, so his timetable has fluctuated drastically.

The good news he did provide was that Willson Contreras should return imminently to give the Cardinals their best hitter back and a significant upgrade at catcher. However, this team needs Edman healthy to be at its best for a second-half playoff push. With many conflicting reports about his health throughout the year, it's difficult to have faith in anything the front office says about Tommy Edman's return.

Mo's comments at Blogger Day regarding adding a right-handed bat that can play center field at the trade deadline seem to match the idea that Edman's availability is again in flux. While he reassured us that Edman's return was imminent, it's obviously not seen as a guarantee. An upgrade is necessary after dismal performances from Michael Siani and Dylan Carlson offensively. Edman was the internal upgrade, but as frustrating developments continue to pile up, the Cardinals may need to look elsewhere at the deadline.