BALTIMORE -- Though Jason Motte has been used inconsistently as of late anyway, he will not be making any appearances for the Cardinals until at least Aug. 17, after being moved to the disabled list due to lower back tightness. The DL stint is backdated to Aug. 2, the day after he made his most recent appearance.
Motte did not travel with the club to Baltimore, but did explain, via text, that he first felt back soreness on Tuesday and had been undergoing treatment since then. He played catch before Thursday's game and "felt OK," but informed the Cardinals midgame -- after his back wouldn't loosen up during another game of catch -- that he would not be able to pitch in relief.
With the Cardinals already concerned about overusing Trevor Rosenthal and Pat Neshek, the club determined it didn't want to go any longer with another man short in the 'pen. That prompted the team to move Motte off the active roster and recall lefty Nick Greenwood from Triple-A for Friday's game.
Manager Mike Matheny said the Cardinals expect Motte to be cleared to return as soon as he is eligible to come off the DL.
"I believe it's not going to be that many days," Matheny said. "Then he'll be able to go get some work and be sharp when we bring him back."
That work would come during a rehab assignment with one of the organization's Minor League affiliates.
Motte did insist that the back issue is entirely unrelated to his sliding across a wet tarp at Busch Stadium during Thursday's rain delay. Matheny also shied away from attaching any correlation between the two.
"Apparently, he didn't feel anything while he was doing that," Matheny said. "It's not necessarily part of our program. I don't know what exactly instigated or went into that, but what we do know is that it is something that had been bothering him for a while. Then, later in the day, it tightened up."
Since missing the first seven weeks of the season while wrapping up his rehab from Tommy John surgery, Motte has posted a 4.91 ERA in 24 appearances. His biggest nemesis has been the home run ball, as Motte has served up seven in 22 innings.
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.