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Penny and Lohse on the mend

The Cardinals may soon have some good news on the injury front.

According to Fox Sports Midwest, Brad Penny threw off a mound at full speed for the second time and reported no pain. He's seemingly ready to start getting back in shape to pitch and could go on a rehab assignment soon.

Kyle Lohse is also throwing, albeit on flat ground, and said his surgically repaired forearm is healing well. It was originally feared that he could be out for the rest of the season. But now it looks like he could be back sooner rather than later.

Although Blake Hawksworth pitched well Saturday in Kansas City when he made what was expected to be a bullpen start, the last spot in the St. Louis rotation has been a mess since Penny and Lohse went down to injury. The Birds need more pitching depth not only to fill that hole, but to lighten the load on rookie Jaime Garcia who is in his first year back after Tommy John surgery.

Garcia is starting to show some signs of breaking down. His most recent start was his worst of the season and his control, which was excellent, is suddenly a little bit shaky...