DENVER --The sting from Monday's series opener in Colorado was much deeper than the eight-run loss to the Rockies. The Cardinals learned Tuesday that Matt Holliday will need to go on the 15-day disabled list with a right quad strain.
"We got the MRI results, and it looks like it's a Grade 2 strain," manager Mike Matheny said before the second game of the three-game set with the Rockies. "We'll take those 15 days and reevaluate."
Holliday suffered the injury while chasing down a shallow fly ball from Carlos Gonzalez that ended up as a double after Holliday stumbled and fell in reaction to the strain. After several uneasy moments with Holliday writhing in pain on the outfield grass, he was able to walk off the field on his own.
He plans to stay with the club and travel home with them Wednesday, but he did not wish to speak to the media Monday or Tuesday. Holliday was hitting .303 (54-for-178) with three homers and 26 RBIs in 52 games this season.
"Frustrated," Matheny said in describing Holliday's mindset. "You hate to see that happen to anyone. I don't care if they're having one of the worst years of their career, let alone the kind of start that Matt's had, let alone being a big piece of what we're doing right now. But it happens. We've got some guys that can really play this game that are now going to get the opportunity to play."
The Cardinals endured a similar blow when first baseman and cleanup hitter Matt Adams went on the DL at the end of May with a right quad strain, but his injury required surgery and it is expected to be three to four months before he returns to action.
"With Matt Adams, his was higher up the leg and you'll also recall that it was torn completely," said General Manager John Mozeliak, overseeing the Draft in St. Louis. "[Holliday's] is not a complete tear at all. It's much milder than that. It's really something that can heal [without surgery]."
St. Louis has recalled right-handed reliever Miguel Socolovich from Triple-A Memphis to fill Holliday's spot on the roster. Socolovich was previously with the team from May 1-27 and went 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA over the course of seven games.
"Right now I feel like we're pretty well covered in the outfield with the four guys that we're trying to get time for anyhow," Matheny said. "It's good to have that extra arm."
Holliday has started 52 of the Cardinals' first 58 games, and has been in the three-hole for every one of them. No other Cardinal has started more than 29 games in one spot in the Cardinals' ever-changing order.
"I try to put [the lineup] together the night before, and I automatically -- the one staple we've had is in that three spot," Matheny said, having penciled in Holliday for Tuesday's game. "I had to erase him last night. That wasn't any fun."
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.