MLB Injuries

Dexter Fowler hits DL with heel spur

Photographer: Jimmy Simmons/Icon Sportswire

St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler was placed 10-day disabled list with a right heel after suffering the injury in the Cardinals’ 7-3 loss against the Pittsburgh Pirates Saturday. Fowler played the entire game though, but was hitless in four at-bats.

“Fowler’s heel pain is usually attributed to plantar fasciitis, not the heel spur itself,” Dr. Selene Parekh, an orthopedic surgeon at Duke University, said. “He’ll probably get fitted for orthotics, receive physical therapy and potentially a steroid injection as well, and should be good to go in two to four weeks.”

Fowler has hit a tough stretch with injuries, as he had just returned from a quadriceps injury that sidelined him for a few games recently. With the Cardinals trying to make a midseason run at the vulnerable Milwuakee Brewers—they currently sit 5.5 games out of first place—Fowler’s ailment does not come at a good time. Although his batting average is down, Fowler is still producing at the plate power-wise, as he is slashing .245 while slugging 13 home runs with 35 runs batted in.

The Cardinals called up reserve outfielder Randal Grichuk from Triple-A Memphis to replace Fowler for the time being, who has plenty of experience at the major league level. Grichuk, who was sent down earlier this year to fix his swing, has played in 45 contests this season with a lowly .227 batting average.

Grichuk is expected to form a tandem with fellow outfielder Tommy Pham to replace Fowler’s production. Pham is an interesting option potentially on the waiver wire, as the 29-year old was riding a hot streak before struggling in St. Louis’ current series against Pittsburgh. Pham is owned in just more than 10 percent of ESPN’s fantasy leagues at the moment, and has one of the better averages on the Cardinals at .281. Pham has also showcased a little power as well, hitting nine dingers while taking over Fowler’s No. 2 spot in the batting order.

Grichuk’s past performances may merit him another look as well despite his slow start to 2017. Grichuk also seemed to rediscover his stroke down in Memphis, as he had ripped six home runs and three doubles in just 14 games. With plenty of playing time to go around in Fowler’s absence, Grichuk may be a sneaky option as well if he can get on a roll.

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