(Busch Stadium) A day after leaving the game with a contusion on his left knee, Matt Carpenter is in his familiar spot of lead off for the St. Louis Cardinals.
“Just a little sore,” Carpenter said. “More precautionary coming out of the game yesterday. We had the nice lead and wanted take a look at it, x-ray, and make sure it wasn’t anything and it wasn’t, so good to go today.”
The third baseman fouled a pitch off the side of his right knee cap in the fifth inning of yesterday’s 10-2 victory over New York. Carpenter drew a walk in the at-bat and then ran the bases, scoring from first base before giving way to Jedd Gyorko at the start of the sixth inning.
“It’s a little swollen and a little stiff, but nothing I can’t play through or work through,” Carpenter said. “No issues today, I’m good to go.”
In the midst of a three game hit streak, Carpenter has four hits in his last 12 at-bats.
3B Matt Carpenter
1B Paul Goldschmidt
SS Paul DeJong
LF Marcell Ozuna
RF Jose Martinez
C Yadier Molina
CF Dexter Fowler
2B Kolten Wong
P Dakota Hudson
O’NEILL RESUMES THROWING
–Sidelined by a right ulnar nerve subluxation, outfielder Tyler O’Neill played catch from about 90 feet this morning.
“I felt fine,” O’Neill said. “At first I was babying it a little bit, trying not to aggravate anything. Once I stretched out, went back to about 90 feet. Started to feel a little better, I think it’s more mental sometimes than anything when it comes to building back up in the throwing program. Just trying to get through that. The real test is tomorrow, I’m going to be throwing a little longer, throwing to bases.”
–Pitcher Carlos Martinez will throw another side session on Monday before heading down to Florida for extended Spring Training.
O’Neill is expected to head out on a rehab assignment before he is eligible to return from the Injured List expires on April 26th.
GOOD OUTING FOR REYES
–The Cardinals received positive reports on Alex Reyes, who made his first start for Memphis (AAA) yesterday afternoon.
“Very positive,” Mike Shildt stated. “39 pitches. One walk, four punch-outs, averaged 97–just efficient work.”
Reyes was moved from the bullpen back to the rotation to be in a more familiar routine and allow for him to work on all of his pitches between starts.
“As soon as he gets his footing back into that, gets that routine, gets that feel back, I don’t think it’s going to matter what role he’s in,” Shildt added. “I just think we’re creating a reference point again for Alex to work of.”
Left-hander Austin Gomber pitched the second game of the Memphis double-header and hurled a complete game shutout. He allowed just three hits in seven innings pitched, facing the minimum in his final five innings.
“He’s a Major League pitcher in Triple-A,” Shildt said. “He understands the what the standard is here. Respect the league you’re in, but hold yourself to a standard that you know you’re working back to get to.”
photo credit: Bill Greenblatt/UPI