ST. LOUIS -- A frustrating season for Todd Wellemeyer has taken another disheartening turn. Two days before he was slated to return to the Cardinals' starting rotation, Wellemeyer came down with inflammation in his right elbow. He has been scratched from a scheduled Tuesday start and there's a good chance he will head to the disabled list.
Wellemeyer threw a bullpen session on Saturday in preparation for the Tuesday start and was thrilled with the way it went. However, as he was playing catch on Sunday, he felt discomfort in his pitching elbow.
"My side went incredibly well," Wellemeyer said. "I threw [Sunday] and it just flared up on me big time. I'll take some time off and try some Celebrex and see what happens. It's pretty much the way the year has gone. But we'll get back on track."
Rookie Mitchell Boggs will take Wellemeyer's start on Tuesday, though manager Tony La Russa would not commit to anything beyond that for Boggs. The Cardinals would next need a fifth starter one week later, on Aug. 18 at Dodger Stadium. In the meantime, there's a good chance that Boggs will not only take Wellemeyer's spot in the rotation, but his roster spot, as well.
"I think there's a possibility that what [Wellemeyer] needs is going to be two weeks [off]," La Russa said. "Until it's official, it's not smart to claim it is."
After a breakout 2008 season, Wellemeyer has struggled mightily in 2009. He's 7-9 with a 5.67 ERA and was recently bumped from the rotation. However, he had a decent relief appearance in New York last week, and Boggs struggled in a Triple-A start on Thursday. Thus, the Cardinals had intended to turn to Wellemeyer rather than Boggs for Tuesday's game. Now that is not an option.
"I don't think he'll pitch tomorrow, clearly," La Russa said on Monday. "And I think he'll possibly or probably be disabled. But the PS to it is that his bullpen on Saturday was outstanding. The kind of bullpen where his starter buddies came in and mentioned something to me, and [pitching coach Dave Duncan] mentioned it. He hit everything. Maybe he, I don't know, maybe he overextended himself and that's why he's sore. I don't know. But it was exciting and it's a tough break."
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.