Cardinals Face Marlins without Whiten, Jefferies
Rick Hummel Of the Post-Dispatch, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
The Cardinals' lineup was in an altered state Saturday night. First baseman Gregg Jefferies and right fielder Mark Whiten were out with injuries, presumably minor at least in Jefferies' case.
Jefferies has a jammed left thumb and Whiten a jammed right shoulder. Jefferies was available to pinch-hit, but manager Joe Torre said that Whiten couldn't swing a bat.
Torre was unsure of the severity of Whiten's injury, suffered diving back to third base Friday. But Whiten didn't seem overly concerned. Asked if he were going to be examined when the Cardinals return to St. Louis after Sunday's game, Whiten said, "I hadn't planned on it."
Whiten was 0 for seven against Chris Hammond, the Florida Marlins' starter Saturday. But Jefferies was seven for 14.
Jefferies said a Pirates pitcher jammed him in the preceding series in Pittsburgh. The injury is at the base of the thumb, but Jefferies said there was numbness at the tips of his fingers.
"It's been numb for about four days," he said.
X-rays taken Friday revealed no fracture or tear, but Torre planned to use Jefferies for only one at-bat, if that, Saturday night.
"I don't want him to irritate it," Torre said. "If he's going to irritate it, I want him to irritate it with the bases loaded."
Stan Royer made his first start of the season at first base. Bernard Gilkey replaced Whiten in the outfield. Gilkey has a career mark of 12 for 19 against Hammond.
Lefthander Rheal Cormier was scratched at the starting gate Friday night when he strained a muscle in his upper left back. "It's 100 percent better today," he said. Trainer Gene Gieselmann "had to dig it out with his knuckles. Worst feeling I ever had.
"But at least I can move my arm. And I can breathe now."
Cormier has set something of a record this season, bruising his shoulder in a game wiped out by rain, then straining the muscle Friday in a game in which he never pitched.
The lefthander winced.
"Those are records you don't want to set," he said.
Cardinals reliever Rich Rodriguez, released by Florida in spring training, was amused to see his name in the Marlins' listing of "Who's Not Hot" for having allowed 17 hits in 19 innings. …