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Lynn heads to DL; Craig, Molina return to Cards

Lynn heads to DL; Craig, Molina return to Cards

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Lynn heads to DL; Craig, Molina return to Cards
ST. LOUIS -- As expected, the Cardinals placed right-hander Lance Lynn on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday due to a strained left oblique muscle. The club reinstated outfielder/infielder Allen Craig from the DL to take Lynn's roster spot, but it's likely that an additional pair of moves will follow within the next day or two.

Lynn suffered the injury in the ninth inning of Tuesday night's loss to Milwaukee, and it was quickly evident that he was headed to the DL. Club officials would not venture a guess as to how long Lynn will be out, but it is virtually impossible that he will miss the minimum 15 days.

"If it's just a slight little something, you might get back in two weeks," manager Tony La Russa said, "[but] normally it's three to four, four to five, five to six [weeks]. It just depends."

The moves leave the Cardinals with 11 pitchers, a status that La Russa is not comfortable with. It's likely that before the weekend, the club will add a 12th pitcher to the roster. That could be an internal option like Brandon Dickson, Maikel Cleto or Raul Valdes. It could also be a pitcher from outside the organization, such as veteran lefty Arthur Rhodes.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Wednesday that the Cardinals have had conversations with the agent for Rhodes, who was released by the Rangers. Rhodes has long been a pitcher of interest to the Cardinals, and La Russa indirectly acknowledged recently that Rhodes could be a good fit for his team.

In the meantime, though, the Cardinals added a potent bat to their roster in Craig. He immediately stepped into the starting lineup, getting the call in left field on Wednesday. However, it may be tough to find Craig many at-bats in the coming weeks, unless Matt Holliday's back injury keeps him out for longer than expected. Second base no longer appears to be a viable outlet for Craig to get at-bats, limiting him mostly to left and right field.

Craig came on strong at the end of his Minor League rehabilitation assignment, going 9-for-30 over his last eight games.

"It took me a few games to get my timing back, but after that I was feeling pretty good and ready to go," he said.

In addition to the moves, the Cardinals also got Yadier Molina back in the fold on Wednesday. Molina was reinstated after missing five games due to suspension.

Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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