Cooney sent down but could return soon

Cooney sent down but could return soon

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals optioned left-hander Tim Cooney to Triple-A Memphis on Friday but haven't ruled out the possibility of bringing him back next week to throw in Tuesday's doubleheader against the Cubs.

Cooney allowed three runs (two earned) over six innings in a no-decision against the Padres on Thursday. It was his second Major League start and certainly a better showing than his first, against the Phillies on April 30, an outing that lasted just 2 1/3 innings.

But with Jaime Garcia on the mend from a mild groin strain, the Cardinals had the flexibility to option Cooney and, in turn, shore up their outfield depth by recalling outfielder Tommy Pham.

"I thought he did a good job," manager Mike Matheny said of Cooney. "That was, I'm sure, a relief to him. I'm sure it was frustrating for him, a kid that's done such a nice, consistent job in Triple-A to then come up here and just not have anything click [in his Major League debut].

"[On Thursday], right from the beginning, I thought he did a nice job establishing what he wanted to do. He was in the zone and he got better. I think we saw in those last couple of innings the kind of pitcher he should be, where you have no idea what's coming. In any count he's able to throw three different pitches, at least, for strikes when he wants to. And that keeps any offense off balance."

As long as things stay on track, the Cardinals plan to turn to Garcia to start one of the two games on Tuesday. The other will feature either Tyler Lyons or Cooney, one of whom will be called up as a 26th player solely for the doubleheader. Lyons is scheduled to pitch for Memphis on Sunday, so the Cardinals will have to make a determination by then as to which pitcher they intend to bring up.

Matt Holliday (strained right quad) has resumed jogging but still has not tested his legs with full-out running. He will have to do so before the Cardinals take him off the disabled list.

• Springfield's Patrick Wisdom and Arturo Reyes have been chosen as the Cardinals' Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Month, respectively, for June. Wisdom, who was also named the Texas League Player of the Month, hit .309 with seven homers and tied for the Texas League lead with 23 RBIs and seven homers. Reyes went 4-0 with a 1.84 ERA in five starts.

Mark Reynolds, who has nine multi-strikeout games in his last 11 starts, was on the bench on Friday. Starting in his place was Xavier Scruggs, who is 10-for-24 with six RBIs since being called up from Memphis.

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.