Tuivailala and Sherriff Return

The St. Louis Cardinals will have two familiar faces back in the bullpen as they open a weekend series against Chicago tonight at Busch Stadium. The team has announced Sam Tuivailala (left knee strain) and Ryan Sherriff (right big toe fracture) have been activated from the disabled list.

Pitcher Austin Gomber and first baseman Luke Voit were optioned to Memphis (AAA) to make room on the active roster. Neither player had appeared in a game since their recalls last week.

“Health-wise, everything’s good and had some good outings over there in Memphis,” said Tuivailala.

In the three games pitched for Memphis during his rehab assignment, Tuivailala threw a total of 4.0 innings, which includes a 2.0-inning save on May 1 vs. Oklahoma City. President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak recently shared the team was trying to build up the reliever for multiple innings.

“Stretching out the arm, getting the pitch count up, that was the plan,” said Tuivailala. “I’ve done it before–last year I did it at the Little League Classic so my body it could definitely hold up for that long. Whatever the needs for the game, I’ll do whatever it takes. If that happens, I’ll be ready.”

Also at Memphis, Sherriff appeared in three games during his rehab stint and pitched a total of 3.0 innings.

ANOTHER BULLPEN FOR WAINO

–The path for return is also gaining momentum for Adam Wainwright, who threw another bullpen session this afternoon.

“Assuming it went well, we’ll probably make our decision tomorrow on sort of what the next step is for him but we have to see how comes back the day after,” said General Manager Michael Girsch.

Having been on the disabled list since April 20th, Wainwright appears to be a candidate for a rehab assignment.

“I think it’s very likely he’s going to need one, but when that’s going to be depends on making sure he came out of today healthy,” said Girsch.

In the meantime, the Cardinals have decided that John Gant will fill the open spot in the rotation and make the start on Monday against Minnesota.

“Just with the timing, we’ve had these off days, we’ve been able to sort of juggle things around,” said Girsch. “This is where we reach the point we need a fifth starter. Gant’s the one eligible to come back, Jack’s not yet, so John lines up to take the start on Monday.”

Left-hander Brett Cecil threw today in Florida and has one more outing in extended Spring Training. He will then return to St. Louis to be checked out and could begin a rehab assignment next week.

Also throwing today in extended was Alex Reyes, who pitched three innings. He could begin rehab next week with Palm Beach (A+). Having already been building up his arm, Reyes is not expected to need four or five starts like a starter would receive in the spring.

“He’s been in extended doing that, so he’s not starting at square one like he showed up at Spring Training,” explained Girsch. “His first rehab assignment will likely be multiple innings. He’s not going to start with 1 or 2 innings. In some ways, it’s similar but he’s a little bit farther along than that already.”

Reyes is not eligible to be activated from the disabled list until May 28th, which should line up very closely with the rehab schedule.

photo credit: Jeff Curry, Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

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