ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals reliever Eduardo Sanchez is pleased with his progress as he attempts to return from a right shoulder injury. Sanchez is throwing freely and without pain, and has thrown off a mound twice this week.
On Thursday, he played catch on flat ground, slinging the ball easily. Sanchez said he's still feeling good when he throws. He has not pitched in a Major League game since June 12.
"I keep going in the work and see how it reacts," he said. "The next few days I'll throw a couple more sides."
Sanchez estimated that he is throwing at about 60 to 70 percent effort when he pitches off the mound, and in each session he's thrown roughly 25-30 pitches. He hopes to get into a game of some sort within the next two weeks.
Cardinals trio participates in Social Media Night
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals added a new wrinkle to their recurring Social Media Nights on Thursday, and it was a good one. For the first time, the club had players visit with social-media-savvy fans.
David Freese, Jon Jay and Daniel Descalso joined fans for the pregame gathering. All three Cardinals are active on Twitter, tweeting with the usernames @DFreese23, @JonJayU and @DanielDescalso, respectively.
"The Cardinals came up to us, and they know that me, Jay and Descalso are doing the Twitter thing," Freese said. "[It's] cool to get together with some of the people who follow us, and talk to them. That's kind of what it's all about."
Previous Social Media Nights have included appearances from Cardinals front-office representatives as well as media who cover the team.
The Cardinals have yet to announce their starting rotation for next week's series in Milwaukee.
Manager Tony La Russa allowed that infielder Tyler Greene will get some kind of look once rosters expand in September, but said the club has not yet determined how extensive that opportunity will be.
La Russa also said that the organization has just about decided on which players will be called up for September roster expansion. The bulk of those players will not arrive on Sept. 1, but rather after Triple-A Memphis' season ends on Sept. 5.
Rafael Furcal batted eighth for the Cardinals on Thursday. It was the first time since June 12, 2009, that he started a game batting somewhere other than first, second or third in his team's lineup.
Andrew Brown homered twice, helping Triple-A Memphis pull out a 5-4 win against Nashville on Wednesday.
John Gast pitched well, but Double-A Springfield let a two-run eighth-inning lead turn into a 4-3 loss in 11 innings against Northwest Arkansas. Gast allowed a run on five hits with four strikeouts and three walks.
Class A Palm Beach lost the resumption of a suspended game with Bradenton, 9-4, before winning by a 7-4 count. Starlin Rodriguez had two hits and a walk in the win.
Seth Blair turned in five excellent innings in his return from the disabled list, helping Class A Quad Cities beat Peoria, 4-2. Blair allowed two hits but no runs or walks, striking out two.
Short-season Batavia survived a five-run ninth-inning rally to beat Williamsport, 8-7. David Medina had three doubles and three RBIs.
Tyler Rahmatulla had two doubles, a walk and scored three runs in Rookie Level Johnson City's 13-0 rout of Burlington.
The Rookie Level Gulf Coast League Cardinals were off on Wednesday.
Brown is the player of the day, as he helped the Redbirds stay in contention. He went 3-for-4 with a pair of solo homers, including a tiebreaking shot in the eighth. Memphis has won four straight and remains four games behind first-place Omaha in the PCL American Northern division with 13 games to play. Brown, 26, is hitting .286 with a .384 on-base percentage and a .508 slugging percentage for Memphis. He was an 18th-round Draft pick by the Cardinals in 2007.
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.