Holliday had not played since sustaining a right hamstring strain while running out a ground ball on July 11 vs. the Cubs. He initially hoped that a week of rest would be sufficient enough to avoid a DL stint, and he was seemingly making progress in recent days. He participated in batting practice on Thursday and Friday.
But after not being able to run at full speed without hindrance on Friday, Holliday and the organization made the collective decision that additional time off would benefit the left fielder.
"I think he's real close now," manager Mike Matheny said. "But hammys are tricky. It's one of those injuries that if you push it, it oftentimes comes back to haunt you. It's being cautious, but also being smart."
The move was also calculated. Because Holliday hasn't played since the injury, his placement on the DL is retroactive to July 12. That means he will be eligible to return as early as next Saturday. Had Holliday made an appearance in a game this weekend, reaggravated the injury and then had to go on the DL, he would have had to remain sidelined for at 15 days from the last game he played.
With a team off-day on Monday, moving Holliday to the DL now only costs him six more games.
"I think that was the part where you say, risk-reward," Holliday said. "You don't want to lose the eight days I've already been out by trying to come back a day too early, or doing something to where now you're back to having to go on the DL for 15 [days]. Time wise, it really made sense."
Holliday participated in batting practice with his teammates again on Saturday. He took the day off from running, but he plans to resume that on Sunday. Holliday is confident that he will be back in the Cardinals' lineup as soon as he is eligible to return.
"We were hopeful that he could end up playing today, but just based on how he felt, we didn't feel like pushing him was worth the risk," general manager John Mozeliak said. "He can be back on Saturday, and I think the risk of it recurring will be very, very low. It's one of those things where we probably could have pushed it, but if it had gone backwards or he reaggravated it, I think we would have regretted the decision."
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.