Cardinals' Place Rafael Furcal on 15-Day DL

The good news is Rafael Furcal does not have a torn UCL.  The bad news is, he will have to spend some time on the disabled list.  Furcal was diagnosed with a strained right elbow which was a relief for the Cardinals and Furcal.  When Furcal left his game against the Nationals on Thursday, he said he felt a pop in the elbow.  The immediate concern was a tear.

With Furcal being moved to the 15-day DL, the Cardinals filled the roster spot by promoting Pete Kozma from Triple-A Memphis.  Kozma is a career .176/.333/.325 hitter in the Majors, but he's only had 17 at-bats.  In his minor league career, Kozma has hit .236/.308/.344.  He has never quite found the stroke the Cardinals hoped he would, but they will need him to perform down the stretch.

The Cardinals are now tied with the Pittsburgh Pirates for the second Wild Card spot in the National League.  Not too long ago they were building a comfortable lead, but now they must compete in a three-way race for two Wild Card spots (the Braves have the top spot).

Furcal was hitting .264/.325/.346 at the time of his injury.  He had been struggling in August and in the last week, but the Cardinals count on him for consistency up the middle.  They may struggle to hang in this play-off race without their All-Star shortstop.

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