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Cardinals place seven players on DL

Cardinals place seven players on DL

JUPITER, Fla. -- The Cardinals placed seven players, including six pitchers, on the disabled list on Tuesday.

Chris Carpenter, Mark Mulder, Matt Clement, Joel Pineiro, Tyler Johnson, Josh Kinney and outfielder Juan Encarnacion were all officially shelved on Tuesday, retroactive to March 21. That means that if any of them were ready in such short order, they could be activated on April 5.

However, none is expected to be available so soon. Encarnacion is out indefinitely, a result of the foul ball which struck him in the face last summer. Carpenter will not pitch in the Major Leagues until midseason, as he rehabilitates from Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery, which he underwent in July. Kinney likewise is coming back from Tommy John surgery, with a hoped-for return date of sometime in May.

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Pineiro, who has irritation beneath his right shoulder, is likely the closest to a return. He is expected to make four or five starts before he can be activated -- which could be in the second half of April. Mulder and Clement both have rough timetables of sometime in May, though Mulder now appears closer. Mulder is recovering from shoulder surgery, while Clement is building back up after a shoulder operation from 2006.

Johnson is dealing with shoulder tendinitis and a rotator cuff strain, and the condition has not responded to treatment as quickly as the team hoped. A return date for the left-hander is uncertain.

All of the injured players were placed on the 15-day disabled list. Some might, by nature of their injuries, reasonably be placed on the 60-day DL, but procedurally the club cannot do that yet. A player can only go on the 60-day DL when the team has a full 40 players on its 40-man roster.

One player not placed on the DL was Juan Gonzalez, but a roster decision regarding Gonzalez may be coming soon. Gonzalez has an abdominal strain that has not come along well at all. However, as a non-roster player, the Cardinals will not place him on the Major League disabled list.

Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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