ST. LOUIS -- In the midst of a run of bad injury news, one ailing St. Louis player is actually making some good progress.
Right-hander Brad Penny will throw one more bullpen session on Saturday then will face hitters on Tuesday in Denver. Penny has been out since May because of a strained right lat muscle.
That schedule conceivably could allow Penny to return to Major League action in the first week after the All-Star break. The Cardinals begin the second half with a pivotal eight-game homestand against 2009 playoff teams and 2010 contenders the Dodgers and Phillies.
"He came out of yesterday in good shape," manager Tony La Russa said. "I think he's going to throw a bullpen tomorrow and then do something in Colorado on Tuesday."
In the meantime, the Cardinals have yet to announce how they will align their rotation in the last week before the break. Monday's off-day allows for some re-jiggering if the club so desires. La Russa did say, however, that Blake Hawksworth will get another start on the road trip to Denver and Houston.
Greene recalled from Triple-A
ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis returned to a more conventional roster alignment on Friday.
The club recalled infielder Tyler Greene from Triple-A Memphis and optioned reliever Fernando Salas to Memphis, getting back to the preferred ratio of 13 position players and 12 pitchers. St. Louis had kept 13 pitchers in case either Blake Hawksworth or Jeff Suppan was knocked out very early from his start this week.
When both right-handers made it into the sixth inning (Hawksworth finished six), the Cardinals no longer felt the need for the extra reliever -- especially with Adam Ottavino still around as a long-relief option.
"We got through yesterday, and we've got Ottavino," manager Tony La Russa said. "We're a player short, we've got an off-day Monday [so] we figure can get through the next three days and use a player."
Greene, 26, has had a fine year at Memphis. He's batting .291 with a .362 on-base percentage and a .465 slugging percentage. He got the start at second base on Friday night in place of Skip Schumaker against Brewers lefty Chris Narveson.
"It's getting comfortable," Greene said of playing second. "I played mostly at short while I was down there, so I'm looking forward to getting out there for BP, getting some work at second. Actually I took some ground balls there the other day. I'm just going to go out there, play as hard as I can and let it happen."
ST. LOUIS -- Triple-A Memphis scored last in a back-and-forth game, beating Round Rock, 5-3, on Thursday. Donovan Solano homered and Jon Jay doubled and drove in two runs. ... Double-A Springfield rallied in the final innings for a 4-3 comeback win over Frisco. Steven Hill singled, doubled and had two RBIs. ... Richard Castillo didn't allow an earned run (three unearned) in seven innings, but Class A Palm Beach fell to Jupiter in 10 innings, 7-6. Xavier Scruggs had three more hits, including a home run. Scruggs is 16-for-40 (.400) with six extra-base hits in his last 10 games. ... Jorge Rondon pitched six strong innings, and Frederick Parejo homered in Class A Quad Cities' 5-1 win over Beloit. ... Short-season Batavia was held to four hits in a 1-0 loss to Auburn. Alan Ahmady doubled and walked for the Muckdogs. ... Boone Whiting pitched brilliantly for rookie-level Johnson City, but it wasn't enough in a 3-2 loss to Elizabethton. Whiting allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits over five innings, striking out 10 against one walk.
Rondon is the player of the day. The 21-year-old right-hander allowed a run on six hits, striking out three and walking two. He's 3-4 with a 3.23 ERA, 42 strikeouts and 29 walks in 64 innings at Quad Cities this year. Rondon signed with the Cardinals as a non-drafted free agent in 2006.
The July 25 game between the Cardinals and Cubs at Wrigley Field has a new start time. Instead of being an afternoon game, it is now scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be carried on ESPN. ... General manager John Mozeliak said Friday that the Cardinals have not made any significant progress toward signing any of their three first-day Draft picks: Infielder Zack Cox or pitchers Seth Blair and Tyrell Jenkins. ... The Cardinals held a "Salute to the Troops" at Friday's game against the Brewers. The events included a display by Army parachutists and a re-enlistment ceremony presided over by U.S. Sen. Kit Bond. Families of U.S. military members stationed overseas were invited to attend the game, and FOX Sports Midwest broadcast greetings to military men and women from their friends and families in the U.S.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.