ST. LOUIS — The Cardinals received very bad news on David Freese on Tuesday, learning that the rookie third baseman requires surgery to repair tendon damage in his troublesome right ankle. Freese will miss the remainder of the season.
Freese, 27, was a valuable member of the Cardinals’ offense when he was healthy, and it appeared he was close to a return to active duty. But while playing in a Minor League rehabilitation game at Double-A Springfield on Monday, he re-injured the ankle. He was removed from the game and returned to St. Louis. According to general manager John Mozeliak, it is a new injury in the same area as the one that landed him on the disabled list in the first place.
Following an examination on Tuesday, it was determined that Freese will need surgery.
That would be bad news for the Redbirds under any circumstances, but it’s doubly troubling in light of the trade the club made over the weekend. St. Louis sent outfielder Ryan Ludwick to the Padres in order to acquire pitcher Jake Westbrook from Cleveland, and Freese’s imminent return appeared that it would soften some of the blow to the offense from that deal. With Freese lost for the season, the pressure may increase on the team’s front office to make an upgrade to the offense.
Freese last played on June 27. He hit .296 with a .361 on-base percentage and a .404 slugging percentage this year. Felipe Lopez has been manning third base for the most part in his absence.