Jack Flaherty injury: Cardinals ace lands on IL after exiting start with shoulder tightness

St. Louis Cardinals ace Jack Flaherty left his Tuesday night start against the Detroit Tigers (DET-STL GameTracker) after just two innings with what was later announced as shoulder tightness. On Wednesday, manager Mike Shildt announced Flaherty is heading to the injured list, though tests on his shoulder came back relatively clean. “Imaging is mostly negative, which is positive,” Shildt told reporters, including Jeff Jones of the Belleville News.

Flaherty showed diminished velocity prior to being lifted and that is always a red flag. His fastball was down a couple of ticks early, and before leaving the game he wasn’t even cracking 90 mph with his fastball: 

Jack Flaherty’s velocity was down significantly at the end of Tuesday’s outing.
Baseball Savant

Flaherty exited the game after allowing home runs to Robbie Grossman and Miguel Cabrera. In those two innings, Flaherty allowed four runs on four hits and walked three against only one strikeout. On the season, he’s now pitched to a 3.08 ERA in 14 starts and 76 innings. 

Flaherty not long ago returned from the injured list after missing two-and-a- half months with an oblique injury. In his first two starts back, he appeared to be in vintage form, but things took a turn for the worse in his third start since being activated. 

Losing the 25-year-old right-hander for another stretch would be damaging to the Cardinals’ fading playoff hopes. They entered Tuesday’s slate 4 1/2 games out of the second NL wild card spot, and the SportsLine Projection System gave them just a 10.6 percent chance of making the postseason. With Flaherty’s status moving forward uncertain, those odds should probably be even lower now. 

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