Cardinals place VerHagen on injured list, recall lefty Naughton

It’s a shoulder impingement for VerHagen, who is also experiencing numbness in his fingers.
St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Packy Naughton (70) leaves during the fourth inning of a...
St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Packy Naughton (70) leaves during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles Tuesday, May 10, 2022, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)(Jeff Roberson | AP)
Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 7:24 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Drew VerHagen has struggled lately in his first season with the Cardinals. Friday’s news suggests his recent lackluster performance may have been impacted by an injury.

The Cardinals placed the right-handed pitcher VerHagen on the injured list Friday with a right shoulder impingement. Left-hander Packy Naughton has been recalled from Triple-A Memphis in a corresponding move.

It’s unclear how long the injury is expected to keep VerHagen out of action, but the Cardinals appear to be taking a prudent approach with the 31-year-old.

VerHagen shared with reporters Friday afternoon that his previous history of thoracic outlet syndrome is a reason for caution, as it’s possible that history could be related to the shoulder stiffness and finger numbness he is presently experiencing.

VerHagen signed a two-year, $5.5 million free-agent contract with the Cardinals before the season. Prior to 2022, he pitched two seasons in Japan, where he performed capably as a starting pitcher for the Nippon Ham Fighters. It had been a different story for VerHagen thus far in St. Louis this season.

The Cardinals elected to go with Jordan Hicks for the fifth spot in the rotation out of spring, a role for which VerHagen was also competing. He got off to a solid start to the season out of the St. Louis bullpen but has declined of late with a 12.15 ERA for the month of June.

VerHagen will receive more testing in hopes of determining the root cause of his injury as the bullpen churn continues for the Cardinals.