ST. LOUIS -- Nick Punto's frustrating season continued on Friday, when the utility man was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique.
It's the third time this season that Punto has gone on the DL; he's already missed time with a sports hernia and a right forearm injury.
"He's important to us and he's a tough guy to have out," said manager Tony La Russa. "He does a lot of things for us."
Punto was lifted at the start of the fourth inning during Thursday's 5-3 loss to Houston after feeling discomfort in each of his two at-bats.
"I'm definitely frustrated," said Punto, who is batting .271 with no homers and 13 RBIs in 47 games this year. "It's been a trying season for me so far."
Infielder Tyler Greene was recalled from Triple-A Memphis to fill Punto's spot on the Cardinals' active roster. In 33 games at Triple-A, Greene hit .328 with six homers and 17 RBIs.
"I feel good about where I'm at and what I've been doing down there [in the Minors], so I'm just looking forward to carrying it over up here," Greene said.
Greene is hoping for a better stint with the Cardinals this time around. He hit .198 in 49 games before being optioned to Memphis on June 18.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and his blog, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.