Mulder returns to disabled list; Redbirds call up backup catcher

Friday, September 1, 2006

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Cardinals placed Mark Mulder on the 15-day disabled list on Thursday, a day after the left-hander said he doubted whether he'd pitch again this season.

Mulder lasted only 1 2/3 innings in his second start since coming off the DL from a shoulder injury, allowing five runs against the Marlins on Tuesday night. He's 6-7 with a 7.14 ERA after entering the season as the winningest pitcher in the majors the previous five seasons.

Mulder could be facing surgery on the shoulder, which has not responded to extensive rehabilitation. He'll get a second opinion in the next few days.

The Cardinals made the move to align their roster for the postseason, recalling catcher Mike Rose from Class AAA Memphis. St. Louis has 14 position players and 11 pitchers, the breakdown they usually carry into October.

The callup of Rose was a response to Gary Bennett's lower back sprain on Wednesday night. Bennett, who was hurt stretching to tag out a runner trying to score on a failed squeeze bunt, said after the game that the injury was not serious.

But manager Tony La Russa needed backup behind the plate for Molina, who was forced into duty perhaps a bit ahead of schedule on Wednesday after missing the previous five games with an elbow injury. Outfielder John Rodriguez, who spent much of the season with the Cardinals, had been the prime candidate before Bennett's injury.

"Without Gary Bennett we'd have brought up a position player," La Russa said. "But we were going to bring up Rose at some point in the next few days, and we made it today."

The team also could have placed center fielder Jim Edmonds, who has been diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome and has made one start since Aug. 15, on the DL. But the team remains hopeful that Edmonds could shed his symptoms in the near future, although he was again not in the lineup on Thursday.

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