06/01/12 8:39 PM ET
Beltran to see some time in center field
By Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com
The return to New York was Beltran's first since the Mets dealt him to the Giants during last July's non-waiver Trade Deadline. It's been longer since he last roamed center. He most recently started a game there on Sept. 28, 2010, having played exclusively as a right fielder since.
"For me, right field is more of an adjustment position for me, because I'm watching the game from a different angle," Beltran said. "It's not going to be weird [in center], because I've been there."
The need to move Beltran to center field developed as manager Mike Matheny went about trying to find a way to keep both Matt Adams and Allen Craig in the lineup. Craig came off the disabled list on Friday after missing time with a left hamstring strain.
Adams made his 12th straight start at first base on Friday. That pushed Craig, who hit .373 with 19 RBIs between his two DL stints, into right field.
Matheny has said that he doesn't believe center field will be more taxing on Beltran's already achy knees, though that doesn't mean the Cardinals anticipate sending him out to center field daily.
"Just when it makes sense," Matheny explained. "We'll see how he responds."
Beltran sat out on Wednesday due to right knee soreness, which also cost him four other starts earlier this month.
"When I play the game, the last thing I think about is my knees," Beltran said. "If something is going to go wrong, it's going to go wrong, so I just go out and play the game. Center field is more active than right field, for sure. You have to be in constant movement all the time. But it's fine with me."
Cards place Schumaker on DL, activate Craig
NEW YORK -- As expected, the Cardinals placed Skip Schumaker on the disabled list Friday with a right hamstring strain, an injury Schumaker sustained late in Wednesday's loss to the Braves. Taking Schumaker's roster spot is Allen Craig, who was activated from the DL in time to start Friday's series opener in New York.
The announcement was made a day after Schumaker returned to St. Louis to be further examined by team doctors. However, this outcome was anticipated. Schumaker expressed little optimism on Wednesday that he'd be able to avoid a second DL stint this year.
Said Schumaker: "It's about as frustrating as it can get."
Schumaker will remain in St. Louis, where he will soon begin a rehab program. Manager Mike Matheny said that Schumaker projects to miss two to four weeks as he recovers. Craig, who also had a hamstring injury, missed the minimum 15 days.
"I do know that he's a physical specimen and that he comes back pretty quick because of the extra work he puts in," Matheny said of Schumaker. "That's one you don't push real fast, real hard, but they've got an aggressive program to put him on."
Schumaker opened the season on the DL while recovering from an oblique strain he sustained during a Spring Training game. He was riding an eight-game hitting streak at the time of this latest setback.
With Schumaker out, the Cardinals will fill that center-field hole with Carlos Beltran, Shane Robinson and Adron Chambers. Beltran earned the start there on Friday.
Jay halts rehab workouts for injured shoulder
NEW YORK -- Jon Jay, who has been hampered by a right shoulder injury for six weeks now, will be shut down for seven to 10 days in an attempt to reduce the bothersome inflammation.
Jay had the shoulder re-examined on Thursday and, according to general manager John Mozeliak, there were no new findings. That's good news in that it confirmed that Jay does not have any structural damage in the shoulder.
The inflammation, as manager Mike Matheny explained, is around the area of the shoulder where Jay received a recent cortisone shot.
Though Jay avoided a DL stint initially after jamming his right shoulder into the outfield wall on April 19, the discomfort grew to the point that by mid-May, the Cardinals had to shut him down.
Jay traveled to the Cardinals' Jupiter, Fla., complex earlier this week in hopes that, while there, he'd be able to increase his level of activity and work his way off the DL. However, with the discomfort not waning, Jay opted to get his shoulder looked at once again to make sure there were no other undetected issues.
Mozeliak said that the Cardinals are still discussing what the next step will be for Jay following this period of rest. Jay is returning to St. Louis, where he'll resume his rehab work when cleared.
Cardinals add lefty Freeman to bullpen
NEW YORK -- The Cardinals' bullpen shuffle has led to the promotion of left-hander Sam Freeman, who, after beginning the year pitching in the Double-A bullpen, is now in New York and available out of the Cardinals' bullpen.
Freeman, along with Maikel Cleto, whose callup was announced on Thursday, will take the bullpen spots that most recently belonged to Chuckie Fick and Brandon Dickson. Fick and Dickson were optioned to Triple-A Memphis on Thursday, a day after manager Mike Matheny suggested that 'pen changes needed to be made.
"We're just going to keep moving forward, giving guys innings and seeing how they produce," Matheny said on Friday. "We just have to get closer to defining this bullpen. We're fooling with the recipe a little down there in the bullpen, trying to get something that's working. Having a couple good, young, strong arms is, I think, going to give us some other opportunities."
The addition of Freeman gives Matheny the second left-handed option that he hasn't had since the club released J.C. Romero on May 14. The absence of a second lefty left Matheny having to rely too heavily on Marc Rzepczynski, though Victor Marte has also been a weapon against left-handed batters.
This is an ideal time for the Cardinals to add another lefty, too. Eight of the nine players to start on Friday for the Mets hit from the left side.
Losing Dickson, who can build back up as a starter now that he returns to Memphis, leaves the Cardinals without a defined long reliever. The club got along fine without one in April, when the starters were regularly pitching into the later innings.
Freeman, 24, posted a 1.56 ERA in 15 games with Double-A Springfield before being promoted to Memphis. He made just six Triple-A appearances, allowing three earned runs on five hits in six innings.
"I was just trying to get outs," said Freeman, who will wear No. 61. "It didn't matter the level. I was just focused on getting outs. I'm throwing strikes more consistently. The strength has been there. I think consistency is the main thing."
Garcia not a definite to start on Tuesday
NEW YORK -- Jaime Garcia's availability to start on Tuesday is in question as the Cardinals continue to determine exactly how much rest the left-hander needs in order to alleviate left elbow discomfort.
Initially scheduled to start Friday's series opener against the Mets, Garcia had his start pushed back after alerting the club of some soreness in his left elbow on Monday. That was two days after Garcia allowed six hits, four earned runs and two walks in a six-inning start against Philadelphia.
Garcia returned to St. Louis for an MRI, which, on Wednesday, revealed no structural damage. Now, the concern is whether Garcia will get a sufficient amount of rest if he has to prepare to pitch on Tuesday.
"No. We're just optimistic that that could happen," manager Mike Matheny said when asked if Garcia was certain to pitch Tuesday. "We've had some mixed opinions on how much rest needs to happen. With too much rest, it doesn't give you an opportunity to prepare for your next start. That's the only area that we need to get sorted out."
Garcia is still in St. Louis, and Matheny said the organization is still working through the process of determining when he will meet back up with the club.
The Cardinals have already considered a Plan B should Garcia not be able to go on Tuesday. That would likely have to involve someone from the Triple-A rotation making a spot start, as the Cardinals don't have a starting candidate in their current bullpen who could step in.
Right-hander Trevor Rosenthal and infielder Colin Walsh have been named the organization's Pitcher and Player of the Month for May. Rosenthal made five starts for Double-A Springfield and went 3-1 with a 1.65 ERA. He allowed just one earned run in his final 18 innings of the month. Walsh hit .366 with six homers and 25 RBIs for low Class A Quad Cities last month. He hit safely in 21 of 27 games and recorded 10 multihit games.
Four players from the Cardinals' high Class A Palm Beach affiliate have been selected for the Florida State League All-Star Game, which will be played on June 16. Those selected include pitchers Anthony Ferrera Jr. and Seth Maness, infielder Starlin Rodriguez and outfielder Mike O'Neill.
Maness will not participate in the game since he was recently promoted to Double-A.
Mike Matheny may be Cardinals' manager, but he's also still just Dad. Matheny's son, Tate, a senior baseball player at St. Louis-area Westminster High School, played in the Missouri Class 3 state semifinals on Friday. While preparing for the Cardinals' game in New York, Matheny kept his eye on his computer, which streamed the game live. Westminster pulled out an 8-2 victory to earn the chance to play for a state title on Saturday.
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.