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Cards' Morris Out For Season


Mark McGwire could hit 80 home runs and it still might not be enough for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Righthander Matt Morris, the team's projected No. 1 starter, today became the latest casualty to a constantly depleted pitching staff. He will undergo elbow surgery and miss the season.

Morris has a ligamentous injury to his pitching elbow. Dr. Frank Jobe conducted an examination on the elbow Sunday in Vero Beach and confirmed his findings to the St. Louis medical staff.

A date for the surgery has not been set.

The 24-year-old Morris was bothered by shoulder and nerve problems in 1998 and was limited to just one start until July 10. He pitched injury-free the rest of the season and finished with a 7-5 record and a 2.53 ERA in 17 starts. In two seasons, Morris owns a 19-14 record with a 2.97 ERA.

Among the constantly wounded are righthander Alan Benes, who missed last season and is not expected back until after the All-Star break, and lefthander Donovan Osbrone, the projected Opening Day starter who has pitched one full season since 1993.

Matt Morris was projected to be the Cards' No. 1 starter.>
Matt Morris was projected to be the Cards' No. 1 starter. (AP)

Osborne, Kent Mercker, Kent Bottenfield and Darren Oliver should make up the rotation with Jose Jimenez and Manny Aybar battling for the fifth spot. They should get plenty of support from a powerhouse offense that includes McGwire, Ray Lankford, Eric Davis andJ.D. Drew.

Morris was limited to just one appearance this spring. He complained of tightness after the March 17 outing and returned to St. Louis for an MRI.

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