Springer lands on DL; Jimenez recalled
Cards veteran right-hander battling inflamed nerve in arm
ST. LOUIS -- After a rough outing on Friday night, Cardinals righty reliever Russ Springer is headed to the 15-day disabled list with an inflamed ulnar nerve in his right arm.
"I can't go out there and do my job like it is, so I'm just trying to let it cool off a little bit," Springer said before Saturday afternoon's game against the Nationals. "It's no surgery-type thing or anything. I had that nerve moved in '03. I felt good all spring, and then it was so cold in Springfield and it inflamed on me. We've been trying to fight it and cool it off. The weather here is not helping it any.
"It's one of those things where when it's inflamed, I lose strength in my forearm and my hand and lose a little sensation as far as touch, as far as feeling the ball come out."
The veteran right-hander was replaced on the roster by Kelvin Jimenez. The second-year righty was one of the last cuts this spring and was with Triple-A Memphis in Oklahoma on Friday.
"We needed arms, so we're just going to take the two weeks and make sure [Springer's] 100 percent," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said.
Springer had appeared in four games. He didn't allow a run in two separate one-inning appearances against Colorado, but struggled on Friday night against Washington.
The right-hander allowed a home run to Cristian Guzman and then back-to-back singles to Lastings Milledge and Ryan Zimmerman before being replaced by lefty Ron Villone.
Springer didn't record an out and was charged with three earned runs, elevating his ERA to 13.50.
"As a reliever, your mentality is to go out there and get after it anyway," Springer said. "But it comes to a point where it wasn't doing anybody good, and it's not going to get better unless I give it some time off."
In the past, Springer said the nerve would flare up and then be fine in two or three days. That wasn't the case this time, so Springer will take a couple days off to rest the nerve.
"I can't go out there getting big league hitters out throwing 86 miles per hour, because I can't feel the ball coming out of my hand," Springer said. "The good thing is it goes back to normal after it calms down."
La Russa said it made sense to promote Jimenez, who was 3-0 with a 7.50 ERA in 34 games in St. Louis last season.
Jimenez pitched one inning for Memphis on Thursday, but took the loss after allowing one run on two hits and a walk in the 10th inning.
Nate Latsch is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.