St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Jordan Walden is set to miss the next six to ten weeks with a muscle strain in his right shoulder, GM John Mozeliak told reporters including Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Seth Maness will take over the eighth inning duties in his absence, ahead of closer Trevor Rosenthal.
The injury occurred over the course of the week due to too much usage without resting.
Walden, 27, joined the Cardinals this past offseason in a blockbuster trade with the Atlanta Braves that included outfielder Jason Heyward. Walden has been quite solid so far in St. Louis, having posted a 0.87 ERA with a record of 0-1 in 10.1 innings. Walden has made 12 appearances out of the bullpen so far this season.
Maness, 27, provides much compensation in Walden’s place. Seth has been outstanding through 10.1 innings so far this season, allowing just one earned run while striking out a dozen batters and allowing only four walks. Maness has worked well within the 94-95 mph range this season and looks to make that number higher with a longer stint with the club in 2015.
It will be hard to replace Walden, but Maness has the talent to take over with his stellar mechanics and game plan day after day. Walden has been nothing short of solid for most of his career, having posted a 3.00 ERA with a record of 12-14 in a total of 222.0 innings, and he hopes to keep that up with his new club.
If Walden takes the full ten weeks to recover, he should return about two weeks before the trade deadline, which should help the Cardinals assess their pitching needs should Walden’s recovery take longer than expected.
The club has already lost one strong righty in Adam Wainwright and does not have interest in losing another as they look towards another winning season in 2015.