ST. LOUIS -- A day after successfully throwing a bullpen session, Chris Carpenter has formally been cleared to make his next scheduled start for the Cardinals, on Saturday at home against Milwaukee.
In the first inning of his last start, Carpenter was struck in the right forearm by a line drive. He remained in the game, but continued to feel discomfort in the ensuing days. However, he threw on Wednesday and it went well. On Thursday, the Cards confirmed that Carpenter will make his next start, as scheduled.
Carpenter, 35, is 9-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 17 starts this year. He has 100 strikeouts against 34 walks. If he had been unable to start, the Cardinals likely would have started Adam Ottavino on Friday and pushed Jaime Garcia's start from Friday back to Saturday.
Ludwick again out due to sore right calf
ST. LOUIS -- Ryan Ludwick could have helped the Cardinals on Wednesday afternoon, but he just wasn't available. He may not be available for another few days as he recovers from a sore right calf.
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said that, even in a situation like the one at the end of St. Louis' loss to Arizona, Ludwick was not available to pinch-hit. The game ended when Aaron Miles popped up with the tying run on base. La Russa said he had checked with the training staff prior to the game, and Ludwick was not cleared for any sort of appearance.
"I said, 'Let me get this straight, he is not available under any circumstances.' ... And they said, 'No,'" La Russa said.
"I'm positive that, by the latest, Tuesday he'll be ready to play. Maybe this weekend."
The manager said that, despite an extremely short bench, the Cardinals do not have any plans to call up a position player from Triple-A Memphis in the coming days. St. Louis is carrying 13 pitchers, so with Ludwick limited, the club essentially has only a three-man bench.
Wainwright has made his case for All-Star nod
ST. LOUIS -- Adam Wainwright took advantage of his last chance to state his case for an All-Star berth when he pitched 6 1/3 shutout innings against the D-backs on Tuesday. His next start will come after selections are announced.
Still, Wainwright is trying not to think about it. He's been disappointed, for himself and for teammates, before.
"I have to think about it, just because people wanting to talk about it," he said. "But I've seen what happened to [Kyle] Lohse a couple years ago, when he was [8-2]. Last year I was 10-5. So, no. But I think I'm having a pretty good year."
The Cardinals believed Lohse at least had a case for selection in 2008, when he went into the break with an 8-2 record and a 3.32 ERA, but he was left off. Wainwright sported a 3.04 ERA to go with his 10-5 record last year. This time around, though, it's hard to see Wainwright being left off the NL roster. He ranks second in the league in wins with 11, fourth with a 2.34 ERA, fourth with 114 strikeouts, second at 119 1/3 innings and second with three complete games.
Penny getting close to facing hitters
ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals right-hander Brad Penny threw another bullpen session on Thursday, and he's getting closer to another significant step forward.
Within the next week, Penny is slated to face hitters for the first time since he suffered a right lat strain. Penny last pitched in a game on May 21, when he was removed after three innings due to the injury.
"Maybe here Sunday," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said, when asked about when Penny might face hitters. "Another option is to throw a [bullpen session] on Saturday, and maybe on Tuesday in Colorado face hitters. Two alternatives. Do that two or three times. But he passed today. It was good."
Penny's status remains one of the biggest questions for the Cardinals, who have two starters on the disabled list. Kyle Lohse is out after undergoing right forearm surgery in May.
Triple-A Memphis was off on Wednesday. ... Curt Smith had a double and an RBI, and Adam Reifer struck out two in a hitless shutout inning of relief, but overall it was a bit of a rough day for Double-A Springfield's representatives in the Texas League All-Star Game. Blake King allowed three runs in one inning of relief to take the loss. ... Xavier Scruggs' RBI single in the 11th was a game-ending hit for Class A Palm Beach, which beat Charlotte, 2-1. Scruggs had three hits and a walk on the day. ... Devin Goodwin tripled, walked and scored a run, but it was mostly a quiet game for Class A Quad Cities, which lost to Wisconsin, 4-1. ... Andrew Moss pitched seven no-hit innings to lead short-season Batavia past Mahoning Valley, 3-0. ... Trevor Rosenthal pitched four shutout innings of relief, striking out six, after Charllan Jimenez was knocked out in the second inning of rookie-level Johnson City's 9-3 loss to Bristol. ... Mark Hamilton had three more hits in his rehab assignment, but the Gulf Coast League Cardinals lost to the GCL Marlins, 5-1.
Moss is an easy call as the player of the day. He tossed seven innings without a hit or a walk, striking out seven. Moss, 23, is 2-1 with a 1.69 ERA in three starts, with 18 strikeouts and one walk in 16 innings. He was a 35th-round Draft pick in 2009.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.