ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — Cardinals closer Jason Motte has been out since late March originally due to mild strain of the flexor tendon in his right elbow, and reportedly received worse news following MRI and ultrasound exams on Tuesday. According to Jennifer Langosch, Cardinals beat writer for MLB.com, the imaging revealed a ligament tear in the right elbow.
The Cardinals have made the decision to wait until May 1 allowing time for improvement. Tommy John surgery becomes more likely if Motte is not able to begin a throwing program at that point. If the elbow does improve allowing the 30-year-old to return to the mound, he would essentially have to restart the spring training process.
Just last January, the Cardinals and Motte agreed to a $12 million, two-year contract extension to avoid salary arbitration. The Redbird’s closer was coming off a 2012 season in which he posted a career-high 42 saves (also tied for the NL-best) in 49 chances.
Motte has a career 17-13 record with a 2.87 ERA, 54 saves and 273 strike outs over 260.0 innings pitched since his major league debut in 2008.