Jay on road trip, but no timetable for return

Cardinals center fielder out since July takes batting practice in cage

Jay on road trip, but no timetable for return

SAN DIEGO -- Center fielder Jon Jay is enjoying the change of pace, as he began traveling with the team for the first time since landing on the 15-day disabled-list on July 1 with a left wrist stress reaction injury.

Jay has missed 44 games so far, but said he was doing well on Friday before the Cardinals opened a three-game series with San Diego.

"It's definitely nice to be with the guys and just be here the whole time," Jay said. "It's kind of weird when you are at home and in it, and then everyone just leaves and things slow down. I am glad they let me go on the road trip."

Jay added that being around the team has lifted his spirits, helped him continue to work his mind in game situations and gives him the opportunity to help out in whatever way he can.

Jay took batting practice for the first time in the cage on Friday and plans on just taking it one day at a time.

"Feeling good," Jay said. "It's just a process."

Jay had wrist surgery in the offseason and is batting .223 with one homer and 10 RBIs in 57 games before going on the DL. He was also on the DL in May with left wrist tendinitis.

He said there is no timetable for his recovery process or when he will be play again.

Noteworthy

Jason Heyward was back in the lineup on Friday. He was pulled out of Monday's game against the Giants with left hamstring tightness, which was later diagnosed as cramping. Heyward came in as a pinch-hitter during Wednesday's game, grounding out in the eighth inning.

Heyward was not in Friday's original lineup, but that changed to batting fourth and playing right field.

"We had to let the trainers get a good grasp on him and get a feel for how he was responding," manager Mike Matheny said. "Strength-wise, early on it looked good, but he needed to go throw, run and hit ... but he's good and ready to go."

Heyward said that a possible cause of the cramping came from doing extra work in center field, but Matheny said that dehydration was the main factor. Matheny added that it's not ruled out that Heyward might play center field again, but their focus is on making sure his legs are good before moving him back there.

Beth Maiman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.