ST. LOUIS -- Encouraged by how Carlos Martinez recovered from Friday's side session, the Cardinals have slotted him in to start on Monday. That is the first day Martinez is eligible to come off the 10-day disabled list.Assuming he does return for the series opener against Colorado, Martinez will have
ST. LOUIS -- Encouraged by how Carlos Martinez recovered from Friday's side session, the Cardinals have slotted him in to start on Monday. That is the first day Martinez is eligible to come off the 10-day disabled list.
Assuming he does return for the series opener against Colorado, Martinez will have missed just one start since going on the disabled list with a right oblique strain following his July 19 outing.
Cardinals interim manager Mike Shildt also confirmed on Saturday that Jack Flaherty will follow Martinez as Tuesday's starter. That leaves three recent members of the Triple-A rotation -- Dakota Hudson, Austin Gomber and Daniel Poncedeleon -- available out of the bullpen for now. Hudson made his Major League debut in Saturday's 6-2 win over the Cubs, striking out two in a scoreless inning.
The Cardinals will have to make a roster move ahead of Martinez's return from the DL, and it's likely they'll subtract from their nine-man bullpen.
Limited to one at-bat over the past five days due to a viral illness, Jedd Gyorko received medical clearance for full activity, and he was available off the bench on Saturday.
"All the symptoms cleared up, and everything was back to normal," Gyorko said. "So I'm good to go."
Kolten Wong, sidelined by left knee inflammation, was on the field before Saturday's game, participating in some extra bunting work. He said that "everything is going exactly as planned," and the Cardinals expect the second baseman to be ready to return around his eligibility date of Aug. 1.
If Wong is ready next week, it's unlikely the Cardinals will send him out on a Minor League rehab assignment.
Molina's latest milestone
With his appearance on Saturday, Yadier Molina assumed sole possession of fourth place for games played with the Cardinals at 1,821. Passing Enos Slaughter, Molina now moves toward Ozzie Smith, who played 1,990 games in St. Louis. Stan Musial (3,026) and Lou Brock (2,289) are the other two with more.
Molina is also on track to pass Jorge Posada next month for 11th place in games played among Puerto Rican-born players in Major League history.
As Molina continues to march past various milestones this season, his Hall of Fame credentials have become the subject of national debate. Inside the Cardinals' clubhouse, though, the opinions aren't so torn.
"Oh, he's a Hall of Famer," Shildt said on Saturday. "That can't be debated. It will be, I guess. … But you look at how people impact the game, that's a Hall of Famer, bar none. You look up and see that he does things that are different on a level, on a stage where you have the most elite players in the world, and he's clearly head and shoulders above in a lot of different areas. That's not a debate for me."
• Triple-A outfielders Tyler O'Neill and Adolis Garcia continued their power surge with home runs in Memphis' win over Las Vegas on Friday. Garcia, who has 18 home runs this year, has hit four in a two-game span. O'Neill has homered six times in his past four games and has 26 on the season for Memphis.
• Though the Cardinals have two open spots on their 40-man roster, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak downplayed the likelihood that Garcia or Patrick Wisdom, who has an .860 OPS in 92 games, would be filling either vacancy in the immediate future.
• As part of the domino effect from Friday's series of transactions, four pitchers were promoted from Double-A Springfield to Memphis: Connor Jones, Austin Warner, Elniery Garcia and Hector Mendoza.
Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.