ST. LOUIS -- An MRI taken just hours after Matt Holliday hobbled off the field for the second time this summer showed that the left fielder suffered a Grade 2 quad strain while trying to beat out a double play in the first inning of Wednesday's 1-0 loss to the Reds.
The Cardinals subsequently placed Holliday on the 15-day disabled list, though general manager John Mozeliak said he's "optimistic" that Holliday will return before the end of the season. He did not provide anything more specific regarding an expected timetable for return.
"A lot will really be determined over the next week or two and we'll see how it goes," Mozeliak said. "It's very disappointing, obviously, because we were hopeful he was going to be back in that lineup, and when he was playing, you saw the glimpses of why he's important to this team."
Holliday injured himself just 13 days after returning from a 31-game absence he had due to a quad strain suffered on June 8. Mozeliak described the two strains as "similar," adding that this one is not believed to be as deep a tear as the first. Though they activated Holliday with some running restrictions, the Cardinals do not believe the recurrence of the injury was the result of rushing him back too soon.
"He had passed all the tests to come back," Mozeliak said. "Probably the one thing you might want to reflect on is he did not go out and play [on a Minor League rehab assignment]. But had he, this still may have happened. It's one of those things where you're trying to push to get him back and have to listen to everybody involved."
Holliday went 6-for-29 with four extra-base hits and five RBIs in between the two injuries.
Placing Holliday on the DL was just one of a series of roster moves the club made before Thursday's 9-8 win over the Rockies. Infielder Greg Garcia joined the club along with outfielder/first baseman Brandon Moss, who was acquired in a trade with the Indians earlier in the day. In order to clear space on both the 25- and 40-man rosters for Moss, the Cardinals designated Dan Johnson for assignment.
Johnson joined the Cardinals on July 8 and had three hits over 19 at-bats. With Moss, Mark Reynolds and Stephen Piscotty able to provide coverage at first base, Johnson would have been squeezed out of playing time.
Garcia is joining the Cardinals for the second time this season. He appeared in 12 games from June 19 to July 3 and went 5-for-12 with his first Major League home run. In 81 Triple-A games this season, Garcia is hitting .299 with a .404 on-base percentage.
"I'm just going to try to go out there and compete like I did last time and just try and do my best and do whatever I can to help this team win," Garcia said.
• Rehabbing right-hander Jordan Walden did not finish a full inning in his outing with Triple-A Memphis on Wednesday due to heat exhaustion, Mozeliak said. Walden retired two of the four batters he faced and threw 15 pitches before being removed. He is expected to throw again on Friday or Saturday.