JUPITER, Fla. -- For the first time since last October, Allen Craig donned a Cardinals uniform and ran.
The seemingly simple act was actually quite notable, as the sight of Craig joining his teammates on the field for Monday's workout was a tangible step forward in his rehab from knee surgery.
Last week, Craig was cleared to begin some light throwing. On Monday, he was given the green light to do more. That included lunges, on-field stretches and more long toss. He extended himself off to a throwing distance of 90 feet this time.
At the end of it all was a jog, marking the first time the training staff had allowed Craig to test his legs in such a way.
"I don't think I stood out like a sore thumb. I think I fit in," said Craig, noting that he held pace with everyone else. "It felt great. Today was definitely a real good day."
Craig, who has had no setbacks in his quicker-than-anticipated recovery, will be evaluated again on Tuesday before the club decides whether or not he can continue to be on the field for at least part of the day's scheduled workouts. Craig has still not been cleared to swing a bat, and no one will speculate whether the outfielder still has a chance at being ready for Opening Day.
"He was trying to stay positive, but he was just feeling like he should have been doing something else," manager Mike Matheny said. "I think it's a great encouragement to him that he's got to the point where he's progressed ... and put the uniform on."
Swagerty out indefinitely with triceps issue
JUPITER, Fla. -- Still a participant in all non-throwing Spring Training activities, Jordan Swagerty will not be returning to the mound in the immediate future. The Cardinals have not specified how long they expect triceps stiffness to sideline Swagerty, but the club is going to exercise extreme caution given how much time remains between now and the start of the Minor League season.
Swagerty first notified the training staff of some stiffness after his Feb. 19 bullpen session. The 22-year-old right-hander skipped his next schedule throwing session before taking the mound again on Feb. 23. He said there was actually less stiffness during that latter session, but the Cardinals haven't let him on a mound since.
"There's no reason to push him right now," manager Mike Matheny said. "He's certainly a young talent in the organization, and if we continue to push him just so he can impress the big league staff, it's going to stunt his growth overall. We're going to go real slow with him."
Tests revealed no structural damage in Swagerty's arm.
"They haven't given me an exact day that I'm going to be on the mound," Swagerty said. "It's just day by day until they tell me I'm OK to go. It's just a little bit of a waiting game for the next few days."
Swagerty, who is in camp as a non-roster invitee, is expected to begin the year as a starter with one of the Cardinals' Minor League affiliates.
Lohse to start Grapefruit opener vs. Marlins
JUPITER, Fla. -- The Cardinals have not disclosed many of their pitching plans for early Grapefruit League play, but manager Mike Matheny did announce that Kyle Lohse will start the team's opener against the Marlins next Monday.
Lohse will be the first of several pitchers used in that game, as starters typically build up their arm by throwing only one or two innings in their first appearance.
Matheny also confirmed that Chris Carpenter will take the mound during workouts on Tuesday to throw his first session of live batting practice. Carpenter is the only pitcher with Major League experience who has not yet thrown to hitters. The Cardinals have been bringing Carpenter along more slowly in an effort to ensure that he is best prepared for a full season of work.
"Let's listen to how he feels," Matheny said. "If he feels great, we're going to find a spot for him to get out there and throw. If he feels like he's getting his work here [on the side] and that might help his future as far as how the season goes, I think it would be crazy not to listen to somebody with that kind of experience."
Carpenter is lined up to be the team's Opening Day starter, though the club is keeping that assignment in pencil for the time being.
Adam Wainwright will also throw live batting practice on Tuesday. This will be his third such session since Spring Training officially began.
Matheny contemplating intra-squad game
JUPITER, Fla. -- Manager Mike Matheny is considering calling an audible on his pre-scripted Spring Training plans and adding in an intra-squad scrimmage before his club opens Grapefruit League play.
Many other clubs have either scheduled exhibition games or will begin playing other Grapefruit League teams as early as Saturday. With the Cardinals' first game not on tap until Monday, Matheny said he sees potential benefit in changing up the routine this weekend.
"We're a week away from games still and have a lot of things covered," Matheny said. "Early on, I didn't really have that as part of the game plan. We had so many guys show up early, too. That being said, they do need a little more variety to keep them active and interested."
Cards holding early online-only ticket sale
JUPITER, Fla. -- Individual tickets to 2012 Cardinals home games go on sale at 10 a.m. CT on Friday, though the club also announced plans to hold an early, online-only sale this Wednesday at noon. Fans who are purchasing tickets to at least three games can participate in this special sale online.
The Cardinals will continue to utilize a dynamic pricing system, which prices individual game tickets based upon demand. The organization is also offering other season-long ticket promotions and value packages, all of which are listed and explained here on the club's website.
Once on sale, individual game tickets can be purchased online, by phone (312-345-9000), and on-site at the Busch Stadium ticket window and Cardinals Clubhouse stores.
Cardinals exhibit to run at Clinton Center
JUPITER, Fla. -- Beginning Saturday, an exhibit titled "Play Ball! The St. Louis Cardinals," will be showcased at the William J. Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Ark. The exhibit is scheduled to run through Sept. 16.
More than 100 artifacts items on loan from the St. Louis Hall of Fame Museum will be on display, including the club's last two World Series trophies. Former Cardinal and Hall of Famer Lou Brock will be at the Clinton Presidential Center on Friday to participate in the grand opening celebration. Brock is an Arkansas native.
"I'm proud to welcome my friend Lou Brock back to Arkansas, and I'm honored that he is opening the latest exhibit at the Clinton Presidential Center," President Clinton said in a statement. "His accomplishments on the field are both historic and legendary, and are surpassed only by his ongoing efforts as one of baseball's greatest ambassadors."
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.