Cardinals postpone Peralta second opinion MRI

Jhonny Peralta hits a bases-clearing double (Chris Lee/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/AP)

JUPITER, Fla. — The St. Louis Cardinals postponed the second opinion on shortstop Jhonny Peralta‘s injured left thumb until Wednesday.

Peralta was at Roger Dean Stadium on Tuesday and didn’t specify why he had not gone to St. Louis for an additional exam. He said if the second opinion concurred with the initial diagnosis, he’d have surgery.

Peralta said All-Star catcher Yadier Molina, who had two thumb operations in the off-season, advised him it might be better to get the surgery out of the way rather than attempt to manage the injury.

"He says it’s good to do the surgery. Better to do it now than try to wait longer," Peralta said. "If I do it now, I’ll be ready for June or something like that."

General manager John Mozeliak said earlier in the week the team would have more information Wednesday.

"It seems like somebody has gone down in the spring the last few years, and of course it seems like somebody has gone down in the regular season, as well," said ace Adam Wainwright, sidelined most of last season by a torn left Achilles tendon. "We’ll certainly miss his offensive prowess and his steadiness at shortstop."

The Cardinals acquired utility infielder Jedd Gyorko in the off-season with the intent of giving him time at second base, shortstop and third base to keep Kolten Wong, Peralta and Matt Carpenter fresh. Now, Gyorko is the likely starter until Peralta comes back.

Gyorko had 16 homers and 57 RBIs last year with San Diego, so the Cardinals likely won’t miss Peralta’s power that much. Peralta had 17 homers and 71 RBIs but totalled just two homers during the last two months of the regular season.

Gyorko was a shortstop in college but has played primarily third base in the majors. He got a month at shortstop last year with the Padres and thought it went pretty well.

"It definitely helped me out for the situation we’re in now," Gyorko said. "I’m glad I was able to get those games in because I’m way more comfortable over there than I was before. I think I can handle it. I’m looking forward to the challenge."

Prospect Greg Garcia is the likely utility option, after appearing in 49 games last year.

St. Louis also could use Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz, signed to an $8 million, four-year in March 2014. The 25-year-old had 10 homers and 46 RBIs at Double-A Springfield and played 14 games at Triple-A Memphis, batting .380 with three homers and six RBIs.

Peralta said the thumb felt the same as it did a day earlier and he didn’t appear overly worried about the exam. His biggest concern was gripping a bat. He left the stadium holding several items in his left hand.

"That doesn’t mean I can swing," Peralta said. "It’s different when you swing."

Peralta was injured making a routine play, diving for a ball during an exhibition game Sunday.

"When I got the ball, right away I felt something bad in my thumb," Peralta said. "I didn’t think it was anything serious at the moment but after the game I cooled down and that’s when I started to feel more pain."