The Cardinals take on the Reds for game two of the weekend series Saturday afternoon. It'll be Michael Wacha vs. Bronson Arroyo. Here are some relevant news and notes from pregame:
Rosenthal could return to Cardinals by Monday
Trevor Rosenthal took another step Saturday toward a return to the active roster after experiencing inflammation in his latissimus dorsi late in spring training. Rosenthal threw a simulated game Saturday afternoon at Busch Stadium, using his full arsenal of pitches. He wasn’t sure how many pitches he threw, but said he faced three or four hitters; Rosenthal was encouraged by his progress.
“I definitely felt good, I feel healthy today,” Rosenthal said after the session. “Right now it’s just seeing how I bounce back and stay on top of things. We’ve been doing a good job of that, so hopefully I’ll continue to progress.
“Today’s probably the best I’ve felt. Progressively been getting better and just trying to build on every day.”
Rosenthal throwing the simulated game in St. Louis in lieu of a rehab assignment could have him back with the Cardinals soon. Mike Matheny said Rosenthal could be ready as early as Monday, if things go well with his recovery from Saturday’s ramped up live session.
“Trevor looked good,” Matheny said. “ It’ll all depend on how he feels as he goes and works with the trainers and medical staff, and how tomorrow looks, but the ball is jumping out of his hand. The secondary pitches look sharp. Everything looked good, just depends on how he feels.”
Piscotty banged up (again)
In an effort to set the record for the most unique injuries in the opening week of a baseball season, Stephen Piscotty is now dealing with knee soreness after an attempted steal of second base in Friday night’s 2-0 loss to the Reds. Piscotty is out of Saturday’s starting lineup, with Matt Adams getting the start in left field and batting cleanup.
“He’s a little sore,” Matheny said. “When he went in on that slide yesterday, he didn’t feel it until he got back home. But his knee is a little sore. Found that out this morning, got a look at him. Just didn’t like the fact that he may be favoring it a little bit.”
Adams getting another outfield start instead of Jose Martinez has some fans scratching their heads. Adams is 2-5 off Reds starter Bronson Arroyo for his career, but Martinez is still waiting for an encore opportunity to his ninth-inning double on opening night.
Beyond the top three of the batting order, it’s been a shuffle for Matheny as the lineup struggles to gain traction early.
“I don’t think putting ownership on any particular spot is a great thing to do,” Matheny said. “After that (top three), I just feel like we’ve got five guys, sometimes six or seven that could fill any of those spots. It’s just kind of, ‘Alright, where are they right now, what’s the match up, let’s see who fits today.’ I think any of them would be really good in any of those spots.”
Lyons closing in on return after knee surgery
Tyler Lyons threw a successful rehab assignment Friday night, and returned to St. Louis Saturday. He was not aware of the immediate plan for his process toward being reactivated to the roster, and as of the media’s pregame conversation with Matheny, the manager had not yet talked to Lyons since his return to town.
Pitching for the Memphis Redbirds in New Orleans, Lyons went 3 1/23 scoreless innings Friday. He says he feels good about the strength of his knee, but feels he needs to throw more to getting back to full pitching condition.
“From a knee standpoint, I feel very confident about where I’m at,” Lyons said Saturday. “Right now, it’s just about continuing to throw a little more, getting in a little better shape. I can kind of feel my legs in general–not my knee–feeling a little weaker than I would like. I think it’s more about getting in a little bit better pitching shape. I don’t think this is something now that I’m sitting here worrying how my knee feels.”