The Cardinals report that reliever Blake Hawksworth, who has pitched only five innings this spring with a groin problem, threw 25 pitches today in a bullpen session.
Hawksworth told mlb.com that he expects to be ready to go on opening day, filling the Brad Thompson role as the Cardinals long reliever.
In 30 appearances in 2009, Hawksworth logged 40 innings for the Birds with a 2.03 ERA and 29 hits allowed. He walked 15 and struck out 20.
Manager Tony La Russa told mlb.com that he expects Hawksworth to pitch at least one inning this weekend in exhibition games at Target Field in Minnesota.