Cardinals slow down Walden's rehab assignment

Cardinals slow down Walden's rehab assignment

CINCINNATI -- The Cardinals have paused Jordan Walden's rehab assignment so that the right-hander can focus on regaining the strength he lost since landing on the disabled list in late April with a right biceps injury.

General manager John Mozeliak said that the Cardinals "need to slow him down," but did not characterize this latest change to Walden's program as a setback, even though Walden had initially been projected to return in late July. Instead of sending Walden to the team's Jupiter, Fla., complex to continue his rehab -- an option that had been discussed -- Walden will remain in St. Louis to work with the medical staff there.

By recalling Walden from his rehab assignment, the Cardinals ensure that he can return to it when he is feeling stronger. Pitchers can only remain on a rehab assignment for up to 30 days, and Walden has already exhausted nine of those by making four rehab appearances -- two with Double-A Springfield and two with Triple-A Memphis -- from July 23-31.

That means Walden will be able to spend another three weeks readying himself in the Minors once the Cards clear him to resume pitching in games.

"We keep taking a step forward and a couple back," manager Mike Matheny said. "Sometimes that happens in the rehab process."

WORTH NOTING

• The Cardinals tabbed outfielder Anthony Garcia (Double-A) and right-hander Luke Weaver (Class A Advanced Palm Beach) as their Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Month for July. Garcia hit .325 and posted a .426 on-base percentage in 14 games with Springfield. He also played in eight games while representing Puerto Rico in the Pan-American Games. He went 11-for-28 with five homers and 17 RBIs.

Weaver made five starts in July and finished 3-1 with a 0.94 ERA. He walked two and struck out 27 over 28 2/3 innings for Palm Beach.

• Outfielder Jason Heyward started as the team's three-hole hitter on Tuesday, making him the first player in Matheny's tenure to start at each batting order position (except ninth) in one season. Before Heyward, Kolten Wong had batted third in each of the four games played since Matt Holliday suffered another quad injury.

• First baseman Dan Johnson and right-hander Marcus Hatley both cleared waivers and were outrighted to Triple-A. Johnson and Hatley had been designated for assignment last week when the Cardinals needed to clear 40-man roster space for a pair of non-waiver Trade Deadline additions in Brandon Moss and Jonathan Broxton.

• Lefty Tyler Lyons improved to 8-5 by throwing seven strong innings in Memphis' win over Round Rock (Texas) on Monday. Lyons scattered nine hits, allowed two runs, struck out eight and walked none.

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.