Cards place Tommy Pham on DL with strained rib cage muscle

PITTSBURGH -- The St. Louis Cardinals put outfielder Tommy Pham on the 15-day disabled list Monday, a day after he strained a rib cage muscle while making a throw in a 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

One day into the season, the Cardinals already have a crowded DL. Shortstops Jhonny Peralta and Ruben Tejada, catcher Brayan Pena and pitchers Lance Lynn, Jordan Walden and Mitch Harris all opened the season on the DL.

Last season, the Cardinals used the DL more than all but three major league teams and withstood injuries to core players Adam Wainwright, Yadier Molina and Matt Holliday to win 100 games.

"This is what we do. It happens to everybody. It happens to us," manager Mike Matheny said. "We don't want it to happen, obviously. We don't necessary plan on it, but we adjust to it and we just keep going."

The team will recall shortstop prospect Aledmys Diaz from Triple-A Memphis prior to Tuesday night's game in Pittsburgh.

Pham is the Cardinals' fourth outfielder, with the plan to use him in left field -- and Holliday at first base -- when they are facing left-handed pitchers. He initially felt the tightness while taking batting practice before the game, played in blustery conditions, but exited shortly after he strained his left oblique muscle while making a warm-up throw in the outfield.

The 28-year-old Pham batted .268 with five home runs and 18 RBIs in 173 plate appearances last season. The Cardinals signed Diaz, who defected from Cuba, to a two-year, $8 million contract before the 2014 season. This will be his first time on the major league roster.