Nick Punto Placed On DL; Cardinals Infield A Mess

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Nick Punto Placed On DL; Cardinals Infield A Mess

Infielder Skip Schumaker's on the disabled list. He hasn't played since April 15. Infielder David Freese is on the disabled list. He hasn't played since May 1. And now, joining his fallen Cardinals comrades, infielder Nick Punto is on the disabled list, as he's dealing with a strain near his right elbow. It's the second time he's gone on the DL already this season.

Punto had been seeing semi-regular action at second and third of late. The proud owner of a .355 OBP and a .740 OPS, Punto isn't expected to miss more than a few weeks, but his injury comes at an awkward time for a Cardinals team that's already playing shorthanded.

To take Punto's place on the roster, the Cardinals called up 23-year-old shortstop Pete Kozma, who's batted just .220/.284/.284 with AAA Memphis. He's considered to be pretty sharp in the field, as all light-hitting minor league shortstops usually are, but the former first-round pick doesn't look like a contributor with the bat.

Schumaker is almost back from the DL, which will make things easier on Tony La Russa, but for the time being, he'll have to run with Ryan Theriot at short, and some combination of Allen Craig, Daniel Descalso and Tyler Greene at second and third. Those three players have combined to bat .236 on the year with three home runs. The Cardinals' infield depth has most certainly been put to the test so far this season, which makes it all the more impressive that the team is hanging tight in the race.

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