MILWAUKEE -- Kyle McClellan is getting closer, and he's confident with one or two more appearances, he'll be where he needs to be. But he acknowledged on Tuesday that returning to the bullpen has not been a completely seamless experience.
"Without a doubt," said McClellan, who has been scored upon in each of his two outings since returning to relief work. "It's something that, I've done it before, but it's been a while. There's a different feeling. Adrenaline and all that, throwing more often. I've got to kind of get the routine."
McClellan pitched in the starting rotation for four months before the Cardinals acquired Edwin Jackson in a trade. That bumped McClellan back to his old job pitching in relief. His first game out of the 'pen was rocky from the start. In his second game, he pitched one fine inning before running into trouble in the second.
Still, he and manager Tony La Russa said there's no reason to grade McClellan on a curve. Results are expected, sooner rather than later.
"I think he's a quality pitcher, starter or reliever," La Russa said. "No curve. Just pay attention to the fact that it's a different role and different warming up, different emotions. So try to help him through that."
Cards intrigued by availability of Rhodes
MILWAUKEE -- A pitcher in whom the Cardinals have held significant interest in recent years may be available soon, and the club is at least not denying interest. Left-handed reliever Arthur Rhodes was designated for assignment by the Rangers, meaning Texas has 10 days to release Rhodes, trade him or send him outright to the Minor Leagues.
General manager John Mozeliak declined to characterize his level of interest in Rhodes, citing standing policy not to comment on specific players who might be available. Manager Tony La Russa spoke somewhat cryptically when asked if the Cardinals were intrigued by the possibility of adding the veteran.
"He's been a hell of a pro for a long, long time," La Russa said. "He's got all our respect. Does that sound like intrigued?"
The Cards are currently carrying only one left-handed reliever, the recently acquired Marc Rzepczynski. Asked more broadly if the Cardinals would benefit from adding a second lefty, La Russa again was somewhat opaque.
"I think the fairest thing to say is if there was a way for us to play with 28 guys on the roster, that would really be the answer we're looking for," he said.
If Rhodes were to be traded, he would first have to clear waivers, and that would likely be the biggest problem for St. Louis. Every American League team and every National League team with a worse record than the Cardinals would have a right to put in a claim before the Cards could. If any of those teams claimed him, he could not be traded to St. Louis.
Shane Robinson hit two home runs, including the best hit a player can have, in Triple-A Memphis' 8-7 win against Iowa. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth and Memphis trailing by three runs, Robinson hit a walk-off grand slam.
John Gast kept rolling in Double-A Springfield's 7-1 win against Northwest Arkansas. Gast permitted a run on six hits in six innings, striking out six and walking three. Gast has been charged with fewer than two earned runs in four of his past six starts.
Carlos Martinez didn't allow a hit for four innings before fading a bit, but still finished with a decent outing in Class A Palm Beach's 7-3 win against Clearwater. Martinez permitted three runs on five hits with eight strikeouts and two walks.
Anthony Ferrara pitched seven brilliant innings to lead Class A Quad Cities past Kane County, 3-0. Ferrara allowed two hits and no walks, striking out six.
Daniel Stienstra was 3-for-4 with two RBIs, helping short-season Batavia beat Connecticut, 5-3.
Rookie-level Johnson City was held to five singles in a 4-2 loss to Elizabethton.
It was a rough one for the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Cardinals, who lost to the GCL Marlins, 17-5. Michael Knox homered and drew two walks.
Robinson is the player of the day. He was 2-for-5 with two home runs, five RBIs and three runs scored. On the year, he's hitting .279 with a .330 on-base percentage and a .407 slugging percentage at three levels. Robinson, 26, was a fifth-round Draft pick in 2006.
Oscar Taveras and Boone Whiting, both of Class A Quad Cities, were named the Cardinals' Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Month, respectively, for July.
Three upcoming Cardinals games have had time changes. The Saturday, Aug. 13 game at home against Colorado was dropped by FOX and will take place at 6:15 p.m. CT, rather than earlier in the afternoon. The Sunday, Aug. 14 game against the Rockies has been picked up by ESPN and is now set for 7:09 p.m. CT, rather than an afternoon start. And the Saturday, Aug. 27 game against Pittsburgh has been picked up by FOX and will start at 3:10 p.m. CT rather than in the evening.
Allen Craig received a night off on Monday but was back in the lineup Tuesday for Triple-A Memphis as he continues a Minor League rehabilitation assignment. The club hopes that Craig can return within the next week, but a target date still has not been set. Craig is recuperating from a fractured right kneecap.
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.