IL Transactions: Matz, VerHagen, Lynch, De Jong

The Cardinals activated left-hander Steven Matz off the 15-day injured list today, as Matz was slated to start the Cardinals’ game against the Reds before the contest was rained out.  Matz will now have to wait until after the All-Star break to make his official return to the field, as he has been sidelined since May 22 due to a shoulder impingement.  With the Cards in need of rotation help, a healthy and effective Matz would be a major boost to the team, as both sides must hope that this two-month absence can essentially be a restart on Matz’s season.  After signing a four-year, $44MM free agent deal with St. Louis in November, Matz stumbled out of the gate with a 6.03 ERA over his first 37 1/3 innings in a Cardinals uniform.

To create room on the active roster, St. Louis placed right-hander Drew VerHagen on the 15-day IL with a right hip impingement.  A similar injury sent VerHagen to the injured list for a little over three weeks earlier this season, and the righty was just activated from another IL stint (due to shoulder problems) earlier this week.  With all of these health issues, it perhaps isn’t surprising that VerHagen has only a 6.65 ERA over 21 2/3 innings, with walks and home runs being particular issues for the 31-year-old.  VerHagen is another offseason signing for the Cards, joining the team on a two-year, $5.5MM deal after spending the previous two seasons pitching in Japan.

More comings and goings off the injured list from around the league…

  • The Royals placed left-hander Daniel Lynch on the 15-day IL, as Lynch is again dealing with a blister problem.  Lynch had already been sent to the IL with that same blister issue on June 24, and he was activated earlier this week and made two abbreviated starts before returning to the sidelines.  It has been a difficult season for Lynch, who has a 5.05 ERA and a wealth of troubling Statcast metrics over 15 starts and 71 1/3 innings.  Lynch’s IL placement was part of a busy day of roster moves for the Royals, who sent 10 players (Angel Zerpa, Nick Pratto, Gabe Speier, Collin Snider, Brewer Hicklen, Michael Massey, Freddy Fermin, Nate Eaton to Triple-A; Sebastian Rivero and Maikel Garcia to Double-A) to the minors in the aftermath of their series in Toronto.  This clears the way for the return of 10 Kansas City players, who were placed on the restricted list due to their non-vaccinated status.
  • The Pirates placed righty Chase De Jong on the 15-day IL due to tendinitis in his left knee, and Bryse Wilson (today’s starting pitcher against the Rockies) was called up from Triple-A in the corresponding move.  Another knee injury is perhaps a red flag for De Jong, who underwent surgery on that same left knee last year.  The surgery cut short De Jong’s first season in Pittsburgh, but after signing another minor league deal with the Bucs this past winter, De Jong has rebounded to post a 2.06 ERA over 35 relief innings in 2022.

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