Cards option Socolovich, ready for Jay's return

ST. LOUIS -- Following Wednesday's walk-off win over the D-backs, the Cardinals optioned right-handed reliever Miguel Socolovich to Triple-A, presumably to clear a roster spot for center fielder Jon Jay to take on Friday.

Jay, who has been on the 15-day disabled list with a wrist injury since May 11 is 0-for-8 in two Minor League rehab appearances with Class A Peoria (Ill.) this week. He's expected to play for the Chiefs again on Thursday before returning to St. Louis in advance of the Cards' weekend series against the Dodgers.

Socolovich's departure brings the number of relievers in manager Mike Matheny's bullpen back to seven for the first time since April 19. The Cardinals have carried at least one extra reliever while playing a string of 36 games in 37 days, and they needed the extra coverage while enduring a patch of short starts and extra-inning games. However, the workload on the 'pen has eased over the past 10 days.

Socolovich, who signed a Minor League contract with the Cards last November, allowed one run over seven appearances while on the Major League roster.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.