Cardinals' Rookie Phenom Pulled From Game In 1st Inning

After tearing up the Grapefruit League thus far in an all-out bid to make the St. Louis Cardinals' Opening Day roster, 20-year-old Top-5 baseball prospect Jordan Walker was forced to leave today's spring training game due to injury after just one inning. Cards fans were holding their breath.

The incident occurred following a hard head-first slide into second base. Walker stayed on the turf for a bit, in some pain. The preliminary diagnosis is a shoulder strain.    

Walker will be re-evaluated on Sunday and is listed as “day-to-day” in the meantime. Manager Oliver Marmol insists that they are "not overly concerned."

Through 11 games, the Cardinals' top prospect was hitting a spring training-leading .424 with a 1.212 OPS, three homers, seven RBIs and seven runs. 

The Cards have a crowded outfield picture, with Lars Nootbar, Tyler O'Neill and Dylan Carlson as the incumbents, as well as youngster Juan Yepez all battling for a spot. Walker, who only played as high as Double-A last year, would have had to have a monster spring to win a spot. 

So far, so good. Until today's potential setback.

Photo: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports