ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Cardinals will be at full strength, for most part, when postseason begins Friday. However, there are a few situations worth monitoring in the upcoming days.
That includes the health of Cardinals’ All-Star closer Ryan Helsley and last-year 30 home-run hitter Tyler O’Neill. Helsley is trending toward being on the Cardinals’ postseason roster when the Wild Card series begins Friday. O’Neill is not.
Helsley left Tuesday’s game suddenly last night after fielding a ground ball awkwardly. St. Louis’ training staff says he suffered a jammed right middle finger, though he is dealing with just mild stiffness and is expected to be ready by Friday.
O’Neill, meanwhile, has been dealing with a hamstring strain for several weeks and is not expected to be ready for MLB action in time for the Wild Card series. He is trending toward sitting this first round out, which could lead to the Cardinals shuffling around some pieces in the middle of the batting order.
One other injury situation worth following is one of relief pitcher Jordan Hicks. The Cardinals will need to activate Hicks by Wednesday in order to plug him onto the postseason roster. While the flame-throwing hurler has been dealing with shoulder soreness and neck spasms, Cardinals manager Oli Marmol expressed optimism that Hicks might be ready for this weekend’s games.
The Cardinals’ regular season ends Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Postseason rosters could be finalized by Thursday. The Wild Card round begins Friday against the Philadelphia Phillies.