ST. LOUIS -- It appears as if Jon Jay will avoid joining Lance Berkman on the disabled list.
On Friday, Jay reported his sprained right shoulder to be feeling "better than expected" one day after jamming it against the outfield wall during the Cardinals' 6-3 loss to the Reds.
Jay did not participate in any on-field work before Friday's series opener against the Pirates, but said he is optimistic that he will be taking swings and throwing again on Saturday. His improvement over the last 24 hours was much more substantial than anticipated.
"Today is the day after and that's usually when you're sore the most," Jay said. "I slept well [Thursday] night. I woke up feeling better. I thought it was going to be a lot more sore today."
Manager Mike Matheny, too, was bracing for a worse day-after report.
"I think [Friday that] is as good of information as you can get," Matheny said.
Jay walked around the Cardinals' clubhouse on Friday without a sling, and he was extending his arm with more ease than he did on Thursday. Jay exited Thursday's game after running hard into the center-field-wall trying to make a catch in the seventh inning. He explained afterward that he had mistimed his jump, which is what led to the awkward collision.
X-rays taken on Thursday confirmed no structural damage.
Skip Schumaker started in Jay's place on Friday and also had to leave the game after crashing into the center-field-wall at PNC Park. Erik Komatsu and Shane Robinson are also able to spot start, as needed, until Jay is cleared to return. Komatsu replaced Schumaker on Friday.
With Lance Berkman on the disabled list, Carlos Beltran moved down from the two-hole to assume the cleanup spot in Friday's series opener against the Pirates. That's likely to be where Beltran stays, too, until Berkman returns. That should provide more RBI opportunities for Beltran, and it should also keep opponents from pitching around Matt Holliday, who hits third.
Friday's game was delayed for a few minutes in the second inning when Daniel Descalso fouled a pitch off his face. The ball hit the ground before bouncing back up into him. Descalso remained in the game and eventually struck out. The strikeout was his 12th in 37 at-bats this year. After earning regular playing time with a stellar spring, Descalso entered the game with just seven hits.
"He's getting away from his approach a little bit," Matheny said. "That's what happens in this game. The approach he had during spring is really what makes him successful. It will be a challenge for him to get back there."
Pitching prospect Trevor Rosenthal tossed six scoreless innings for Double-A Springfield on Thursday and was rewarded with his first win at that level. Rosenthal allowed three hits and struck out six.
Triple-A first baseman Matt Adams had his 14-game on-base streak come to an end with an 0-for-4 showing on Thursday.
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.