General manager John Mozeliak said that Paletta is expected to perform the procedure. The recovery time for Tommy John surgery is typically 12-18 months.
Butler may be the first Cardinals pitcher headed for Tommy John surgery this season, but he is the latest in a growing number of Major League pitchers who are losing a season's worth of time due to a compromised elbow ligament. The high number of players needing Tommy John surgery has caught the attention of the baseball community and has generated many a theory as to why elbow injuries have become increasingly common.
On Saturday, Mozeliak offered his thoughts on the epidemic.
"In the end, I do think there is sort of a usage issue going on, but I'm talking about way before we get them, maybe at the ages of 8 to 12," he said. "Then I also think there's a slight correlation, too, on sort of the strength. Guys are getting stronger and more physical. It's not country strong, it's more weight-room strong. The body clearly can't handle that torque on the elbow.
"I think as our industry tries to get a better grasp on this, we have to look at everything, question everything from usage to strength training to preparation. I do think that when we start to drill on this it has to be a concerted effort and more a group-think approach, because if any one team thinks they're going to find this answer, it's going to be very hard. There's not a lot of data to drive this."
The Cardinals have their own internal system that they use to identify risk factors and injury probabilities. Of that, Mozeliak said: "I'm not going to get into specifics on how we do that, because I do think we have a little bit of an edge there with how we think about things."
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.