WASHINGTON -- Kyle McClellan has no doubts about how he'll pitch when he returns from the disabled list on Wednesday. A little curiosity, sure. But no worries.
McClellan has been sidelined for two weeks because of a left hip flexor strain that he suffered in the Cardinals' May 30 loss to San Francisco. He's made some adjustments to take strain off of his hip -- primarily moving from the third-base side of the pitching rubber to the first-base side. So he can't help wondering how that will affect his pitching. But he's fully confident the results will be good.
"Based on what I've done in the bullpen, I'm confident with it," McClellan said. "There were a couple different things we were going to try to do, and really, I just moved on the rubber and let everything else happen. I can't worry about this, that and the other. Just moving on the rubber really takes all the thinking out of it and now I just have to pitch."
McClellan scarcely stopped throwing as a result of the injury. Within a couple of days after he was hurt, he was throwing off a mound, working on the adjustments. That gives him and the team confidence that he'll be sharp upon his return, and able to go deep into a game.
"I don't expect anything different," he said. "I expect to continue what I, for the most part, was doing. I don't expect any limitations by any means."
Brown bats sixth, starts for Cards in right field
WASHINGTON -- Andrew Brown received quite a pleasant surprise when he arrived at Nationals Park on Tuesday. He was in the Cardinals' starting lineup, batting sixth and playing right field.
For Brown, 26, it was his first Major League start. He's played more first base than outfield during his tenure in the Cards' Minor League system, but he wasn't complaining.
"Wherever they tell me to go, outfield, infield, it doesn't really matter too much to me," he said.
Manager Tony La Russa liked the matchup of Brown against Nationals right-hander Yunesky Maya, noting that Maya has had a reverse platoon split this year. Maya has been much more effective against right-handed hitters than lefties.
Daryl Jones reached base three times and drove in two runs, helping Triple-A Memphis beat New Orleans, 5-3, on Monday.
Maikel Cleto had his first truly rough start on Monday since being promoted to Double-A. Cleto allowed six runs on 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings in Springfield's 7-3 loss to Arkansas.
Class A Palm Beach's game against Charlotte was rained out.
Class A Quad Cities was off on Monday.
Jones is the player of the day. He was 1-for-2 with a double, two walks, a run and two RBIs. Jones, 24, is batting .243 with a .356 on-base percentage and a .378 slugging percentage in 34 games at Memphis this season. He was a third-round Draft pick out of a Houston high school in 2005.
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said that the club has not yet decided who will be removed from the roster when Matt Holliday is activated on Thursday. Holliday will be reinstated from the disabled list on the final day of the road trip after the minimum 15 days.
Lance Berkman has played left field extensively in recent days. However, according to the manager, Berkman will return to right field when Holliday is activated, with Holliday playing his customary left field.
La Russa said he's exchanged several texts with Rick Carlisle, head coach of the Dallas Mavericks, since the Mavs won the NBA title on Sunday night but has not yet been able to talk to his friend. The two have been friends for several years.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.