ST. LOUIS -- Allen Craig has moved into the final phase of his rehab process by joining high Class A Palm Beach on Saturday to begin his Minor League rehab assignment.
Craig, who is recovering from offseason right knee surgery, played in the first game of Palm Beach's doubleheader and connected for a solo homer in his first at-bat. He drew a walk in his next plate appearance and then struck out and grounded out in his final two. He served as the club's designated hitter in the game.
Craig will continue to DH for a few more games before he makes a start in the field. His rehab stint can last a maximum of 20 days, meaning that the Cardinals will get Craig back no later than the second week of May. Craig likely won't need the full length of the assignment, though manager Mike Matheny avoided projecting how much earlier Craig could be ready.
"It's hard to put a time frame on that," Matheny said. "We were talking about having him Opening Day, so I've kind of given up on the time frame thing."
Jay, Schumaker out of lineup, but available
PITTSBURGH -- Jon Jay and Skip Schumaker -- both of whom recently exited games after running into the center-field wall -- remained out of the lineup, but available to play, on Saturday.
Schumaker, who left Friday's game in the first inning, appeared to be in better shape to play of the two. He was scheduled to take a full round of batting practice, though the team was forced to hit inside due to afternoon rain showers. He took his swings in the batting cages and said he felt no discomfort.
Jay also took some swings off soft toss, and he tested his right shoulder by playing catch several hours before game time. Jay had not done any baseball activities on Friday, one day after he jammed his shoulder trying to make a leaping catch. He expressed some doubt about being ready to play on Saturday, though the Cardinals will likely have him back in the starting lineup within days.
"I'd like to be cautious a little bit," manager Mike Matheny said. "It's going to be one of those cold nights. Neither of them are feeling great, though both [are getting] better."
Since both are available to pinch-hit, the Cardinals won't be playing with a depleted bench.
With the team down a pair of center fielders, Shane Robinson earned the start on Saturday. The start was the third of the year for Robinson, who entered the night 6-for-16.
Cards scramble to prepare for Burnett
ST. LOUIS -- Prepared to face Pittsburgh's Kevin Correia on Saturday night, the Cardinals were informed about four hours before first pitch that it would be A.J. Burnett, not Correia, actually taking the mound.
The pitching swap was made after Correia alerted the Pirates' staff about some discomfort in his left side. Burnett, who started the year on the disabled list after fouling a ball off his face in Spring Training, was scheduled to make his final rehab start on Saturday. Instead, he took the mound against the National League's top offense.
After being notified of the change, the Cardinals immediately got to work pulling video of Burnett's days with the Yankees. The club also found video of Burnett's spring appearances and his three Minor League rehab starts.
"They'll have something to look at," manager Mike Matheny said. "We'll go in with a good game plan."
The Cardinals' hitters would have had more familiarity with Correia, who has spent his entire career in the National League. On the other hand, only four of the team's starting eight position players on Saturday had previously faced Burnett, who is pitching in the NL for the first time since 2005.
The change in opponent did not prompt much change in his lineup, Matheny said. He was already leaning toward starting Shane Robinson in center against Correia, and Matheny stuck with Robinson in the eight-hole against Burnett.
Prior to Saturday's slate of games, Lance Lynn (3-0) was one of four Major League pitchers to have notched three wins. Roy Halladay was the first to reach the mark in the National League. Ivan Nova and Bartolo Colon also have three wins, though Colon has already made four starts.
Outfield prospect Oscar Taveras hit his third home run of the year in Springfield's win over Tulsa on Friday. Taveras finished the game 2-for-4 with two RBIs. The 19-year-old Taveras is hitting .351 with 10 extra-base hits and 14 RBIs in his first 13 games at the Double-A level.
Shortstop Rafael Furcal entered Saturday ranked second in the National League with 21 hits. Los Angeles' Matt Kemp leads the league with 26. Furcal has six multihit games.
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.