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Holland, Bowman begin rehab assignments

MLB.com @JoeTrezz

ST. LOUIS -- Often when a star player embarks on a rehab assignment, how he performs is considered secondary. More paramount is that he comes out of those Minor League cameos healthy.

That's true in the case of Greg Holland, whose journey is scheduled to begin Thursday at Triple-A Memphis. But the Cardinals also figure to pay extra attention to how effective the righty pitches during his Minor League tour, which could be prolonged.

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ST. LOUIS -- Often when a star player embarks on a rehab assignment, how he performs is considered secondary. More paramount is that he comes out of those Minor League cameos healthy.

That's true in the case of Greg Holland, whose journey is scheduled to begin Thursday at Triple-A Memphis. But the Cardinals also figure to pay extra attention to how effective the righty pitches during his Minor League tour, which could be prolonged.

View Full Game Coverage

"The whole point of rehab is to see how they react to pitching competitively for the first time in a while," Cardinals general manager Michael Girsch said.

The plan, Girsch said, is for Holland and reliever Matt Bowman to pitch every other day in Memphis until Monday, when the Redbirds finish a seven-game homestand. Both will then return to St. Louis for examination by the team's medical staff, after which they could either be activated or return to a different Minor League affiliate. For Bowman, that decision will hinge heavily on whether or not blisters resurfaced on his right index or middle finger, the issue that forced him to the disabled list on May 17.

Video: MIN@STL: Bowman K's Escobar to retire the side in 7th

For Holland, vital will be whether he can curtail the command issues that contributed to his nightmarish start in St. Louis. Signed to a one-year, $14 million contract to be the team's closer on Opening Day, Holland repeatedly lost that job and much of his manager's trust over a two-month span where he posted career worsts in nearly every statistical category. He owned a 9.45 ERA in 18 appearances before revealing he'd been pitching through an impingement in his right hip on May 26, pausing a season he called "embarrassing."

Prior to that, Holland consistently pointed to mechanical issues and a lack of "feel" as his struggles continued to compound.

"I wasn't pitching well, and I didn't want to use it as an excuse," Holland said at the time. "It got to a point where I think it's affecting me on the mound. It's at a point where I'm not giving us the best chance to win."

Major League teams can keep injured players on rehab assignment for a maximum of 30 days, if necessary.

Red tributes
A day after the Cardinals confirmed Hall of Famer and club legend Red Schoendienst's death, at age 95, tributes to the St. Louis icon could be seen all around Busch Stadium. Fans turned the bronzed statue of Schoendienst outside the venue's main entrance into a memorial prior to game time, leaving flowers, game stubs, engraved baseballs and other tributes in remembrance.

Tweet from @JoeTrezz: Flowers, letters and game stubs are among the tributes fans left at the foot of Red Schoendienst���s statue this morning, a day after his death. #STLCards pic.twitter.com/wf3GbjMwN5

A moment of silence was held for Schoendienst prior to the start of their series finale against the Marlins, after a video commemorating his life flashed on the scoreboard. The Cardinals then carved a No. 2 behind second base, where Schoendienst played the bulk of his legendary career.

Tweet from @Cardinals: Remembering Red. #LoveRed2 pic.twitter.com/bwL9EeoiyL

Roster moves
• The Cardinals also made a two-sided transaction Thursday morning, one side of which was planned. The club reinstated Greg Garcia from the paternity list, two days after the infielder witnessed the birth of his first child, a girl named Olivia. Garcia reported no complications from the birth; only the healthy, early surprises of fatherhood -- grinning, Garcia said Olivia only "poops" when he holds her.

To make room on the active roster, the Cardinals designated right-hander Preston Guilmet for assignment, promptly ending the right-hander's first big league stint since 2015. Signed to a Minor League deal this offseason after pitching last year in Japan, the 30-year-old Guilmet had language written into his contract that required the Cardinals to promote him by early June or risk losing him to another club. When others showed interest during last week's notification period, St. Louis recalled Guilmet, who'd spent much of the season as Memphis' closer. He appeared in both games since his activation Tuesday, allowing five earned runs across two innings.

• Designated for assignment last week, Steve Baron cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Memphis. Promoted for catching depth with Yadier Molina and Carson Kelly both on the DL. Baron went 1-for-5 across two games in his first MLB stint since 2015.

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.

St. Louis Cardinals, Matt Bowman, Greg Holland