ST. LOUIS -- After weeks of trying to find ways to get Matt Adams into the lineup, the Cardinals will now be without the first baseman until at least May 7. A day after Adams was seen by the Cardinals' team physicians, the organization placed him to the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Monday.
The move, manager Mike Matheny said, became a serious consideration Wednesday, when Adams continued to feel right-side discomfort as he resumed swinging. Adams then visited with the team doctors Thursday, and a magnetic resonance imagining exam revealed that he had sustained a small tear of his oblique muscle. There is also inflammation in the area of the injury.
"Sometimes you have to be a little more cautious," Matheny said. "You hate to do it when a guy is playing as well and feeling as good at the plate as he has been. But over the long haul, we hope to get in front of this and put it behind him."
Taking Adams' place on the 25-man roster is infielder Jermaine Curtis, who had his contract purchased from Triple-A Memphis. This marks the first big league callup for Curtis, who was not a participant in Major League Spring Training this year.
Adams sustained the right oblique strain Monday while taking afternoon swings in the batting cage. At the time, the club termed the injury simply as tightness and allowed Adams to resume limited activity during the Cardinals' stay in Washington. He was not, however, used in any of the three games, which allows for his DL stint to be backdated.
Adams said Friday that he still felt a "shooting pain" when bending to his right.
"I felt progress, but the last couple days it's been feeling about the same," Adams said. "We'll keep doing my stuff in the training room and go from there."
Adams played catch Friday and said he expected to resume fielding grounders Saturday. Taking swings will be the last step in his rehab progression.
"It's really discouraging, but it's early, and we can get this resolved and start swinging again soon," Adams said. "They didn't want to be short on the bench. It's a thing that they decided. They wanted me to get healthy."
After making his first Opening Day roster, Adams opened the season 13-for-24, with three homers and eight RBIs in eight games. The hot start had prompted Matheny to try to find ways to get Adams into the lineup multiple times each week.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.