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Just what Cardinals feared: Kim has to go on injured list

Lefty starter is suffering from lower back tightness, joins Flaherty and Mikolas as rotation arms on the IL; Rondón and Nogowski recalled from Memphis
Credit: AP
Cardinals starting pitcher Kwang Hyun Kim throws during the third inning against the Cincinnati Reds on Friday, April 23, 2021, in St. Louis.

ST. LOUIS — Before playing Cincinnati on Saturday afternoon, the Cardinals announced what they suspected would be a strong possibility.

Left-handed pitcher Kwang Hyun Kim had to be placed on the 10-day Injured List with right lower back stiffness, the same problem that sidelined him at the start of the season. The Cardinals also have been without staff ace Jack Flaherty and starter Miles Mikolas.

Kim suffered the injury in the third inning Friday when he tried to beat out a ground ball to short and hit the first-base bag. After one warm-up pitch before the fourth inning, he knew he couldn't continue.

Manager Mike Shildt said Friday that Kim doesn't believe the present injury is as severe as the one in spring training.

"It’s something that’s been recurring and took him quite a while last time," Shildt said, "so we will evaluate ... and do what’s necessary."

The club also placed outfielder Justin Williams (neck stiffness) on the 10-day Injured List. Williams’ injury is retroactive to June 3.

The Cardinals recalled from Triple-A Memphis rookie right-handed pitcher Angel Rondón and first baseman/outfielder John Nogowski.

Rondón, 23, who will be making his major-league debut with his first game appearance, has pitched in five games (four starts) for Memphis this season. The 6-1, 210-pound Rondón has allowed one earned run in his last two starts, covering nine innings pitched for the Redbirds. 

The Higuey, Dominican Republic, native was the Cardinals Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2019 while splitting time at Class A Palm Beach and Double-A Springfield.

Nogowski, who opened the 2021 season on the big league roster, has appeared in 15 games for the Cardinals this season. In 20 games for Memphis, Nogowski has hit .268 with three homers and 11 RBI. He went 3-for-5 with a homer and two RBI in Memphis’ walk-off win over Toledo on Friday night.