PITTSBURGH -- Starting pitcher Marco Gonzales will miss the beginning of the Minor League season due to a left elbow injury, the severity of which the Cardinals expect to learn later this week.
Gonzales is scheduled to see orthopedist Neal ElAttrache sometime over the next two days to receive a second opinion on his elbow. He has already seen a Cardinals team doctor, though the organization will hold off on announcing any diagnosis until after this second visit.
General manager John Mozeliak said that Gonzales began feeling the discomfort on March 28, a week after the lefty was sent out of Major League camp. This injury appears to be unrelated to the shoulder issues that limited Gonzales to 18 appearances (17 starts) in 2015.
Gonzales impressed manager Mike Matheny and the coaching staff during his time in big league camp this spring, and he was expected to open the season as part of Triple-A Memphis' rotation. When he'll be able to join that staff is now uncertain. Gonzales and Tim Cooney, who was slowed this spring by shoulder weakness, had been projected as the first in line for a callup if there were a need at the Major League level.
Gonzales entered 2016 ranked as the organization's No. 7 prospect by MLBPipeline.com.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.