DH will come in handy for banged-up Cardinals
The Cardinals will be the last team to use a designated hitter in interleague play this season when they play six games on the road at Detroit and Kansas City, starting Tuesday night. Their first nine interleague games were played at home.
Manager Mike Matheny said he likely will rotate his regular outfielders, Matt Holiday, Carlos Beltran and Allen Craig, at DH. Holliday, especially, could use a day off from the field as he nurses a recent leg injury although Beltran and Craig are in the same boat.
Beltran occasionally has trouble with a balky right knee, and Craig had knee surgery last November and hurt a hamstring this season.
Rookie Matt Adams probably will see plenty of action at first base when the Cardinals go to a lineup of nine hitters.
Right-hander Lance Lynn, who already has 10 wins for the season, will get two starts on the trip, opposing both Detroit and Kansas City for the first time in his career.
CF Jon Jay, out more than a month with a right shoulder strain, has been hitting for the last couple of days. He should be ready for a rehabilitation assignment this week for Class AAA Memphis.
INF/OF Matt Carpenter (strained oblique) was 1-for-7 in the first three games of a rehab assignment at Class AAA Memphis.
2B/OF Skip Schumaker is with the club in Detroit and should be activated on Tuesday. He has recovered from a strained right hamstring.
RHP Maikel Cleto has been told he will return to Class AAA Memphis. This means the Cardinals will drop back to 12 pitchers again.
RHP Shelby Miller, the Cardinals' top pick in the 2009 draft, has struggled at Class AAA Memphis with a 4-6 record and 6.00 earned run average. As a result, he has been told not to shake off a catcher's signs anymore to go to his high-octane fastball. The organization wants him to work more on his breaking pitches. Farm director John Vuch said, "I think part of it is hitters are sitting on his fastball because they know he's going to throw it and not his other pitches."
RHP Kyle McClellan, on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow irritation, is in the midst of a rehab program to advance his range of motion and the dexterity of his elbow. He is slated to begin a throwing program in early July.
4-5 The Cardinals' interleague record and the record on their recently completed homestand.
"Medically, things are looking up. We're not over the hump yet, but looking up." GM John Mozeliak, on the improving health of all seven of the players on the Cardinals' disabled list.