Cardinals Continue to Battle Injuries as Another Player Goes Down

Heavy on Cardinals

Getty Images Cardinals outfielder Dylan Carlson leaves the field after an apparent injury

It’s been a rough start to the St. Louis Cardinals’ 2024 season already, as this spring training isn’t turning out to be what manager Oliver Marmol quite had in mind. Not only is his team losing games and only hitting .244 collectively (last in MLB) in exhibition play, but they’ve also battled multiple injuries to key players. That’s never good news for a team coming off a year where they finished 71-91 and in last place in the National League Central.

After having to scratch starter Sonny Gray and super utilityman Tommy Edman (slated to be the starting centerfielder) from the Redbirds’ opening-day lineup, it now appears there could be a another man down. Dylan Carlson – who had moved into Edman’s slot in center – left the team’s exhibition game against the Chicago Cubs on March 25 after colliding with teammate Jordan Walker. His injury status is expected to be revealed in the coming days.

“I’ll tell you [Carlson] feels banged up with the combination of that left shoulder [hitting] the ground, and his hip and his ankle,” Marmol told after the game. “I don’t have a whole lot [of information] just yet, other than he doesn’t feel real good.”

An Unfortunate Accident in the Outfield

After crashing into Jordan Walker in the outfield, Carlson landed hard on his left arm. He would leave the game on his own but was escorted by the Redbirds’ training staff.

The 6-foot-6, 250-pound Walker had chased down a ball hit to right-center by Cubs second baseman Nico Hoerner. When he attempted to dive for the drive, he knocked the legs out from under Carlson, who was running to his left, trying to angle for the ball, himself.


After the game, Walker called the play, “a miscommunication.”

“Either he called me [off], and I didn’t hear it, or we didn’t call each other off at all,” Walker said following the game. “Obviously, what we’ve been taught is [with the] center fielder, once he calls you off you stop and until then you are giving 100 percent effort. That’s exactly what I was doing — I was giving 100 percent effort for it. If he called me off, I’m sorry if I didn’t hear him because this stadium is really loud.

“I gave 100 percent effort trying to catch that ball and I feel really bad for running into him. I think I saw [Carlson] too late, as well. When I’m diving for that ball, I’m trying to get into his sights there. I think it was just a miscommunication on both our parts there.”

Who Would Replace Carlson for the Cardinals?

The Cardinals only have a few days remaining before the start of the regular season. So if Carlson is ruled out, it could cause a real dilemma in the outfield. ‘DC3’ was already filling in for the original starter in centerfield, Tommy Edman. Now, it’s anyone’s guess what the Cardinals will do in that position if Carlson is out for an extended period.

“When you get toward the end of spring, you’re trying to just make it out healthy,” Marmol told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “The last few games, you’re just trying — hope nothing like this happens. He’s had a tremendous spring, so hopefully he comes out of this OK.”


With Edman (wrist) and Lars Nootbaar (ribs) also injured, an extended trip to the IL for Dylan Carlson might mean the ballclub could recall prized prospect Victor Scott II – a natural centerfielder. However, it’s most likely they will take Carlson’s injury day by day, and the team is looking to get Scott as many at-bats as possible at the Triple-A level for now.

The Cardinals will have to make a decision soon regarding Carlson. They open the season on Thursday, March 28 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.