Mulder will have MRI exam on shoulder

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals pitcher Mark Mulder underwent an MRI exam and nerve condition study Tuesday after complaining of discomfort in his surgically repaired shoulder.

Mulder was awaiting an exam with Dr. George Paletta, the Cardinals' team physician. The studies were forwarded to Dr. David Altcheck, the New York Mets' team physician, who operated on Mulder's torn rotator cuff in September 2006.

The Cardinals said in a release that results of the studies would be available on Wednesday.

"I did some nerve thing and they said it was fine," Mulder said in a brief pre-game interview.

Mulder is 0-3 with a 12.27 ERA in three starts this month. He lasted three innings on Sunday against the Cubs, allowing four runs and seven hits.

After that start, Mulder said he was unable to get his arm high enough to finish his pitches.

Manager Tony La Russa was noncommittal on whether it would be wise to shut down Mulder for the rest of the season, regardless of what the tests show.

"There's no way to make a comment on that," La Russa said. "How are you going to guess? Let the doctor say what he found."

Mulder won 16 games in 2005, his first season with the Cardinals, giving them a strong 1-2 punch along with Chris Carpenter. He battled shoulder problems last year, spending 85 days on the 15-day disabled list and going 6-7 with a 7.14 ERA before undergoing surgery on Sept. 12.

Pujols scratched from lineup

Albert Pujols was a late scratch for Tuesday night's game against the Philadelphia Phillies due to a strained left calf muscle.

Pujols leads the Cardinals with a .321 average, 31 home runs and 95 RBIs, and was batting .372 in his last 12 games with a home run and 10 RBIs.

Miguel Cairo, among the team's September callups, took Pujols' third spot in the order and started at third base. Scott Spiezio, batting cleanup, moved from third base to first base.

Ryan pulled from game

Rookie Brendan Ryan was benched by La Russa after flying out in the first inning, apparently for swinging at a 3-0 pitch.

After Ryan flied out to center field, La Russa walked to the opposite end of the dugout, returned and then mouthed the words "You're done!" as Ryan was putting away his bat and gloves.

Before the game, La Russa told reporters that Ryan has a "lot to prove" before being assured of a roster spot next season.

The 25-year-old Ryan was batting .308 with four homers and 11 RBIs in 159 at-bats. He has made 16 starts at shortstop and 14 each at second base and third base.

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