It has been reported by the St. Louis Cardinals in a press release that outfielder Matt Holliday will undergo an appendectomy later today. The official release from the club reads as follows:
ST. LOUIS, Mo., April 1, 2011 – The St. Louis Cardinals announced this afternoon that outfielder Matt Holliday is scheduled to undergo an appendectomy procedure later today in St. Louis. The procedure will be performed by Dr. Chris Eagon of the Washington University medical staff.
Holliday’s return to play status will be determined once he undergoes a complete review by the team’s Medical Staff.
Holliday was 3-for-4 with a go-ahead homer in yesterday’s Season Opener against the San Diego Padres.
The club will await the doctor’s reports to determine how long Holliday will be out and whether or not to place him on the disabled list.
Currently, this will leave the Cardinals with Jon Jay, Allen Craig, Colby Rasmus and Lance Berkman in the outfield at the major league level. The Cardinals feature Adron Chambers on the 40-man roster, which would be the easiest solution to replacing Holliday on the active roster should they decide to send him to the disabled list. The other option that is considered likely is the return of Nick Stavinoha, though that would require a subsequent roster move, and it is unclear if the team is prepared for that.
Chambers was drafted by the Cardinals in 38th round of the 2007 amateur draft. He has steadily progressed through the system, showing tendencies of a leadoff hitter at all levels. In 2010, he spent time at both AA Springfield and AAA Memphis, compiling a .283 batting average, a .379 on base percentage and a .405 slugging percentage. His strikeout to walk ration of 1.7 shows that the young man needs to work on patience and selective hitting, but he is also averaging an extra base hit just over every 15 at bats.
In the field, Chambers has played all three outfield positions, playing only left field and center field in 2010. He boast a range factor per game of 1.75 over his minor league career, posting a 1.96 in center field last year and a 1.57 in left field.
Nick Stavinoha spent time at the major league level and then at AAA Memphis last season. While he struggled in the field and was used primarily as a pinch hitter at the major league level, he showed that his bat was ready for any challenge when he was demoted.
In his 23 games in Memphis in 2010, he hit for a .390 batting average and a .690 slugging percentage while hitting six home runs in just 100 at bats. Stavinoha also adds a bit of depth as he has the ability to catch and served as the Cardinals emergency catcher last year, even catching a game in Spring Training this season.
The news of Holliday’s surgery took Twitter and the internet by storm this afternoon and had many fans wondering if it was a cruel April Fool’s joke. It appears to be a legitimate story at this point and leaves many pundits contemplating the Cardinals next move.
Typical recovery time for an injury of this nature is four to six weeks, while other athletes have recovered in as little as two weeks from similar circumstances. Most recently, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel left practice on December 8, 2010 for the same reason and found himself on the field again in under two weeks. I-70 Baseball will continue in depth analysis of the situation and subsequent decisions in the coming days.
Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball as well as the Assignment Editor for BaseballDigest.com.
He is the host of I-70 Radio, hosted every week on BlogTalkRadio.com.
Follow him on Twitter here.