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Motte progressing toward Minors rehab assignment

PITTSBURGH -- With the Cardinals bullpen looking a bit porous in the early going, St. Louis continues to have its eye on rehabbing right-hander Jason Motte, who could help the bullpen in a big way should he return to pre-surgery form.

Motte made more progress on Saturday. Via a text to, Motte said he struck out one and induced three grounders in a 15-pitch extended spring training game appearance. Motte's next outing is scheduled for Tuesday, after which he'll make a quick visit to St. Louis for a charity event.

He's expected to be ready for a Minor League rehab assignment soon after that.

The Cardinals have not defined a relief role for Motte, who was the team's closer before an elbow injury cost him the 2013 season. Pitching on back-to-back days during his rehab work, manager Mike Matheny said, is not absolutely necessary. The Cardinals will likely have Motte make at least one multiple-inning relief appearance so that he is prepared for that sort of spot once off the disabled list.

"When we get him back, we'll see how he's throwing the ball and throw him in different situations," Matheny said. "Those could be different every night depending on how well rested everybody else is."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB.
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