The St. Louis Cardinals are off to a strong start so far in 2023, but they have already dealt with a number of injury concerns. C Willson Contreras, RP Giovanny Gallegos, and OF Lars Nootbaar are among the Cardinals players who've missed time due to injury to open the season. Contreras returned to action on Sunday, while Gallegos is expected to return Monday against the Atlanta Braves, per The Athletic's Katie Woo. Nootbaar, however, is facing a possible trip to the IL, per Woo as well.
“Regarding Lars Nootbaar: Today is important one for him in establishing progress. Cardinals can give him another day tomorrow with LHP Dodd pitching, but if Nootbaar requires more time, they could mull over an IL stint,” Woo wrote on Twitter.
Nootbaar is a steady prescence for the Cardinals. He isn't the best player on the team, but he provides an element of versatility and depth for St. Louis. In 2022, Nootbaar slashed .228/.340/.448 with a .788 OPS and 14 home runs.
Gallegos, meanwhile, is one of the better relievers in the league. Over 57 games during the 2022 campaign, the Cardinals' right-hander recorded a 3.05 ERA and 14 saves.
The Cardinals have the potential to be a force in the National League in 2023. They will need to find a way to avoid the injury bug on a more consistent basis moving forward. The fact that injuries have already been one of their primary storylines isn't a tremendous sign.
With that being said, the Cardinals still performed well during opening weekend and will look to keep things going against the Braves.