Siegrist back on DL with forearm tendinitis

Protective batting helmet extension may have saved Wong from injury

Siegrist back on DL with forearm tendinitis

CINCINNATI -- Kevin Siegrist landed back on the 10-day disabled list on Sunday, this time due to left forearm tendinitis. The transaction cleared a roster spot for Adam Wainwright, who returned from the DL to start the team's series finale against the Reds.

Since returning from a cervical spine sprain after the All-Star break, Siegrist had held opponents scoreless in seven of eight appearances. He last pitched on Thursday, striking out two in one inning.

But Siegrist hasn't been able to shake these forearm issues, which have persisted since he was sidelined for two months in 2014. Manager Mike Matheny said "it's too early on" to determine the severity of this latest setback.

"I think he's constantly battling something and trying, at times, to pitch through it," Matheny added.

The Cardinals still have three lefties -- Tyler Lyons, Zach Duke and Brett Cecil -- in their eight-man bullpen.

Wong hit in head, stays in game

Extra protection

A decision to add an extension to his batting helmet this year may have saved Kolten Wong from serious injury on Saturday when he took Luis Castillo's 97-mph fastball off that sidepiece. The incident understandably shook up Wong, who believes that without the added mouth guard, he would have been "spitting out teeth."

Wong decided to transition to the modified helmet in Spring Training after seeing too many instances of players being sidelined after taking a pitch to the face. The helmet extension had been popularized in recent years by Jason Heyward and Giancarlo Stanton, both of whom turned to it for protection after suffering facial injuries.

Yadier Molina and Aledmys Diaz now use it, too.

"I've been around the league for a little while. I've seen a bunch of people get hit," Wong said. "I'm not going to be that guy that gets hit because I didn't want to put something on to protect my face. Guys are throwing 100 mph these days. I'm not going to be that guy going up to the plate with the chance of that happening to me."

Matheny said he's actually considered mandating the extra protection for his pitchers since they can be susceptible to pitches near their face while bunting. He hopes other position players consider it, too. Matheny, of course, famously took a Rich Loiselle pitch off his face in 1998.

"You're always going to hear me, whether it's plays at the plate, whether it's the play at second base, I'm always going to be an advocate for anything we can do to lessen the risk," Matheny said. "We're not trying to bubblewrap these guys and treat them like china dolls, but I think any precaution you can take with the equipment or the rules to keep guys on the field [is good].

"That's dangerous. That's just scary stuff when you think about the eye and the nose and the mouth. That can be really bad in a hurry. I'm really happy that some guys are doing that, and maybe it will become more commonplace."

Worth noting

• Third baseman Jedd Gyorko was out of the starting lineup for the fourth time in 12 games as the Cardinals try to give him extra time to work through swing troubles. Gyorko is 13-for-74 with 22 strikeouts since the All-Star break.

• Matheny was not ready to speculate about when Dexter Fowler (left forearm strain) should be ready to come off the DL. But Matheny did note that Fowler came through Saturday's on-field work without issue.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.