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07/18/09 5:20 PM ET

DeRosa back in Cards' starting lineup

Infielder activated after DL stint; Hoffpauir optioned to Memphis

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals activated infielder Mark DeRosa from the disabled list on Saturday afternoon, and he was inserted as the No. 2 hitter for their night game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Busch Stadium.

DeRosa -- who was injured while swinging a bat on June 30, just three games after being acquired from the Cleveland Indians -- acknowledged on Friday that his injured left wrist will probably require offseason surgery but that playing with the injury wouldn't make his pain any worse.

"As it was explained to me, he can wait another week or two and it would be the same as going out there today," said manager Tony La Russa. "So the sooner we can get him out there, the sooner he can get his at-bats and get his timing going."

DeRosa was 0-for-9 in three games with the Cardinals before his injury, and he hit .270 with 13 home runs and 50 RBIs in 71 games with the Indians before being dealt.

"It's at a point where that tendon sheath is ruptured, and unless you have surgery, there's no way of correcting it," DeRosa said on Friday. "There's no treatment I can do. There's nothing I can do. We let the inflammation come out of it for two weeks being on the DL. It [feels] good, so let's see how far we can go. It's not like I am going to damage it any further."

The Cardinals optioned infielder Jarrett Hoffpauir to Triple-A Memphis to make room for DeRosa. Hoffpauir, a rookie, appeared in eight games with the Cardinals and was 3-for-12 with a .438 on-base percentage.

"I thought he handled himself very well," La Russa said. "If we were at the magic number of pitchers, he would still be on the team."

La Russa said he expects DeRosa to hit in the middle of the lineup most of the time, but he didn't want to put any extra pressure on the infielder in his first game back from the DL.

B.J. Rains is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.