Cards put Maroth on DL with elbow injury, activate reliever Johnson

Updated: August 7, 2007, 12:06 AM ET
Associated Press

ST. LOUIS -- Mike Maroth, saddled with an 11.08 ERA since being acquired by the St. Louis Cardinals in June, was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday because of tendinitis in his left elbow.

The move, retroactive to Sunday, was made a few hours after lefty reliever Tyler Johnson was activated from the DL. He'd been out since June 19 because of an injured left shoulder.

Johnson was placed on the DL, with the move backdated four days, when the Cardinals acquired Maroth from the Detroit Tigers on June 23.

Maroth is 0-4 in eight games, including six starts. In his last start on Aug. 1, the 29-year-old left-hander gave up seven runs in 1 2/3 innings in a loss at Pittsburgh. On Saturday he allowed five runs in two-thirds of an inning in relief at Washington.

"Obviously, I was pitching with some discomfort," Maroth said. "It's hard enough getting hitters out feeling great."

Manager Tony La Russa thinks Maroth will be fine in the long run.

"We think it's a real minor kind of thing where he gets a bunch of days off, get him back in shape and he should be 100 percent," La Russa said.

Johnson was 1-1 with a 4.32 ERA in 37 games. He made four rehab appearances last week for Triple-A Memphis and Double-A Springfield.

Johnson had been somewhat opposed to a rehab assignment.

"Me going down there, whether I liked it or not, was necessary," Johnson said. "I feel amazing and I'm ready to pitch. It's about time."

Johnson was the Cardinals' primary left-handed specialist before being injured. Randy Flores, who took over that role, had allowed 16 of 29 inherited runners to score.

Johnson threw on consecutive days over the weekend in the final test before being activated.

"He's throwing free and easy and effectively," La Russa said. "He's got good command. It'll be good to get him back."

Johnson had been hopeful of returning after the All-Star break before encountering a setback.

"Today's a new day and I just want to go out and have the best attitude, get some life in here maybe, try to bring whatever I can bring to the team to help spark anything," Johnson said. "We're battling right now and you've got to deal with that stuff.

"There's no reason to dwell on yesterday or the day before or the day before."

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press