ST. LOUIS -- As the Cardinals ready to begin a 10-game road trip Friday, they'll see their contingent of rehabbing players separate as several move closer to rejoining the team, possibly as soon as the next homestand.
Matt Adams, sidelined with a right quad strain since May, is headed to Florida, where he'll work out at the team's facility in Jupiter in preparation for a Minor League rehab assignment. For the first time since having surgery to repair the quad tear, Adams took batting practice with the club prior to Wednesday's game.
That was after the first baseman engaged in some extensive running on the outfield grass.
"He went through another series of tests today and [was at] almost 100 percent with the running," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said before Wednesday's series finale vs. the Giants. "He ran well and actually looked great. I think there might be just one more gear. But everything that we're watching, he just keeps responding very well. Getting back the swing, getting a good feel on the field again, those are things that he just needs some repetition with."
The Cardinals plan to take outfielder Jon Jay (left wrist stress reaction) and reliever Matt Belisle (right elbow inflammation) to the West Coast so they can monitor each's individual progress. Jay has shown increasing strength in his wrist, which is allowing him to take more swings and increase the intensity of his throwing.
"When he's out here during BP, I think he works harder than anybody we have," Matheny said of Jay, who, like Adams will be sent out on a rehab assignment before returning.
Belisle, who continues to throw on flat ground with an eye on a September return, has been traveling with the club since an elbow injury shut him down in late June. The Cardinals have welcomed his presence and taken advantage of the mentorship he's offered to younger relievers.
Even Adam Wainwright, who is trying to defy doctors by making a late-season return, will appear on this next road trip. He'll join the club in San Francisco for the final three games.
Staying back in St. Louis will be Jordan Walden (right biceps inflammation), Matt Holliday (right quad strain) and Randal Grichuk (right elbow strain). None of the three is engaged in much baseball activity at this point.
While many teams see September as an opportunity to bring up Minor Leaguers to fortify the roster, the Cardinals sense an opportunity for a much greater impact.
"This is a long road trip," Matheny said. "There's potential to have a couple of these guys really close to helping us out [when we return], which would be a great boost for us."