JUPITER, Fla. — St. Louis Cardinals closer Jason Motte, who posted a career-high 42 saves in 2012, likely will start the season on the disabled with a strained right elbow.
The Cardinals said Saturday that the right-hander stopped throwing following the results of an MRI on Friday.
Motte pitched one inning against the New York Mets on Thursday in Port St. Lucie, then told the team his forearm tightened up on the bus ride back to the Cardinals' spring-training complex.
"We're certainly going to be as aggressive as we can with the rehab, but in terms of DL, I would say that's likely going to happen," Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak said.
Motte was 0-0 with one save and a 5.00 ERA in nine innings in spring training.
Setup man Mitchell Boggs, recently returned from the World Baseball Classic, is expected to slide into the closer's role. Boggs has four career saves, all in 2011. He was 4-1 with a 2.21 ERA in 78 games last season.
Cards trim roster
The Cardinals whittled their roster to 32 players Saturday by reassigning right-hander Seth Maness, catchers Audry Perez and J.R. Towles, second baseman Kolten Wong and outfielder Justin Christian to minor-league camp.
Maness and Wong are the most noteworthy of the cuts, although neither was expected to make the team this year. Maness was the Cardinals' Minor-League Pitcher of the Year last season; Wong is the second baseman of the future.