Cards' 3B coach Oquendo takes medical leave of absense

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) The St. Louis Cardinals say third base coach Jose Oquendo is taking a medical leave of absence for ''the foreseeable future.''

Oquendo missed several days earlier this spring when he traveled to St. Louis for knee surgery. He returned to camp on March 20, walking with the aid of crutches. He hasn't returned to the third base coach's box since the surgery.

First base coach Bill Maloney handled third base coaching duties while Oquendo recovered and will continue to do so.

Assistant hitting coach Bill Mueller will coach first base and assume Oquendo's infield instruction duties.

Derrick May, the Cardinals' minor league hitting coordinator, will serve as St. Louis' assistant hitting coach.

The 52-year-old Oquendo has been part of the Cardinals' major league coaching staff since 1999.