St. Louis Cardinals

Cardinals’ Rosenthal ready to rumble; other injured players set to return

Cardinals reliever Rosenthal works off the mound

St. Louis Cardinals reliever and former closer Trevor Rosenthal was pleased with his velocity and command after throwing to hitters Tuesday, September 13, 2016. Rosenthal has been on the disabled list since July 26, 2016.
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St. Louis Cardinals reliever and former closer Trevor Rosenthal was pleased with his velocity and command after throwing to hitters Tuesday, September 13, 2016. Rosenthal has been on the disabled list since July 26, 2016.

Trevor Rosenthal needed only nine pitches Tuesday to know that he’s ready to go.

The former St. Louis Cardinals closer, who worked against teammates Brayan Pena, Alberto Rosario and Tommy Pham, has been on the disabled list since July 26 with inflammation in his right shoulder. Rosenthal said he also had a forearm issue.

Those problems appear to be in the past, and Rosenthal, who is 2-4 with a 5.13 ERA and 14 saves in 40 games, is looking forward to being activated within the next few days.

“I played catch in the outfield and warmed up in the bullpen,” Rosenthal said. “(So) it was more than just the work to the hitters. I was paying attention the whole time and focusing on my mechanics, being able to repeat (them) over and over again and get the same result. I was able to do it for 25 straight minutes. I was repeating my delivery and having the ball come out like I wanted to, so I was happy.”

Rosenthal had his usual high-90s velocity and was especially satisfied with his command.

“More than anything, it was not the pitches, it was not the arm strength, it was the location,” Rosenthal said. “I was just playing catch with Carson (Kelly) back there. He didn’t have to move his glove too much, and that’s always a good sign.”

Rosenthal said he’s still working on “game conditioning.”

“I’ll have to see how I recover,” he said. “I don’t think I’ll need to face hitters or do anything like that again before I get in a game.

“I want to do what I can to help the team. I feel better. I’m healed, and hopefully (I’ll) progress from that.”

Carpenter out, then in

Matt Carpenter exited early from the 4-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Monday when he experienced back tightness.

Carpenter wasn’t in manager Mike Matheny’s original starting lineup, but after being examined by the medical staff, Carpenter was cleared to play and batted first.

“He’s good,” Matheny said. “We needed to get him in here and get him with the trainers. We wanted to make sure there wasn’t any residual effect from the tightness he had (Monday) night.

“When something like that happens, I’m typically going to give him the evening to shut down and get the rest he needs. He came in (Tuesday) excited about being in there, but he had to prove his health.”

Diaz starts

Rookie shortstop Aledmys Diaz made his first start since July 31 when he suffered a broken right thumb during an at-bat against Miami’s Andrew Cashner.

Diaz pinch-hit Monday and grounded out weakly to second.

“We’re excited to get him back into it,” Matheny said. “He’s had a great year for us and hopefully he can jump back in and get a rhythm. Watching him hit, watching him do everything, he looks good.”

Other injury news

Two other injured players, left fielder Matt Holliday and pitcher Michael Wacha, are knocking on the door of being activated.

Wacha is expected to come off the disabled list Wednesday after being sidelined by a stress fracture in his scapula since Aug. 9. Holliday fielded grounders Monday and Tuesday and also hit Monday. The Cardinals don’t have a timetable for his return, but it could be as soon as the four-game series in San Francisco that begins Thursday.

Wacha will work out of the bullpen.

“We’re excited to throw him into the mix,” Matheny said. “He’s also a guy who can get lefties out, and has. He’s a little more versatile in that regard. He’s another guy we’ll get in when we can and see how it looks.”

David Wilhelm: 618-239-2665, @DavidMWilhelm

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