JUPITER, Fla., March 26 (UPI) -- St. Louis third baseman David Freese will open the season on the disabled list with a back problem, the Cardinals said Tuesday.
Freese has been having problems with a lower back strain since May 4 when he fell into the stands while chasing a popup in foul territory.
St. Louis placed him on the disabled list retroactive to March 23, making him eligible to return to the lineup April 7. The Cardinals open the 2013 season Monday at Arizona and also have a series in San Francisco before their home opener April 8 versus Cincinnati.
Freese hit .293 with 20 home runs and 79 runs batted in in 144 games last season, when he also earned his first All-Star team selection. He was voted the most valuable player in both the World Series and National League Championship Series in 2011.