Cardinals activate Adams from disabled list

First baseman will be initially limited to pinch-hitting duties

Cardinals activate Adams from disabled list

ST. LOUIS -- Fifteen weeks after undergoing surgery that the Cardinals feared would keep Matt Adams out the rest of the regular season, the first baseman was activated from the disabled list with clearance to pinch-hit.

The Cardinals made the roster move before Wednesday's 4-3 win over the Cubs, while simultaneously designating left-hander Nick Greenwood for assignment. The club needed to clear a spot for Adams on its 40-man roster since he had been on the 60-day DL.

Adams began swinging several weeks ago, but he had only recently ramped up the intensity of his running. His right quad, which he strained while running out a double on May 26, has responded well to each test. Adams' only setback actually came when he experienced weakness in his other leg two weeks ago.

That did preclude Adams from being able to head out on a Minor League rehab assignment, but he has been able to get at-bats against live pitching this week by facing rehabbing reliever Matt Belisle during simulated game sessions.

"On the strength side of that [rehab process], we started it as soon as we could a month out of surgery," Adams said. "I was just giving them feedback each day I was coming in for rehab, and [I] let them know how the body was feeling. We really didn't have that many complications. It's been a pretty good process. I'm happy that I'm activated and able to get out there and help the team out."

Manager Mike Matheny said Adams has "responded well" to the mobility work he's been doing, but he said that for now, the Cardinals would not play Adams in the field. Adams would also be replaced by a pinch-runner should he reach base.

Adams said he is "very close" to running at 100 percent effort. He has not yet tested his quad by running around the bases and cutting corners.

"Once you give him a test, you kind of have to wait and see how he responds to the test, to see if there's another level of advancement in how we use him," Matheny said. "This is a good day. Once again, I don't think many people -- myself included -- thought it would be an option to have Matt Adams back at all this season. Now, we're not too far into September, he's done a lot of work and so has the medical team to get him back to where he is right now."

Worth noting

• Belisle threw a simulated game -- his third in the past week -- on Wednesday morning, during which he faced teammates Jon Jay, Matt Holliday, Pete Kozma and Adams. Belisle threw about 30 pitches in the effort, and he said afterward that it's the best he has felt while throwing since he landed on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow irritation in June.

"I feel like I broke through those barriers," Belisle said, "and now it's go time."

• Holliday (right quad strain) and Adam Wainwright (left Achilles) are expected to accompany the team on this upcoming road trip. Holliday may be activated from the DL during the team's trek through three National League Central cities. Wainwright threw a bullpen session Monday that Matheny described as "really good." Wainwright is still hopeful of defying the odds and returning to the mound this season.

• The Cardinals announced that they will release a limited number of $5 tickets for their Sept. 21-24 games against the Reds and Brewers. Those tickets will go on sale Thursday at 10 a.m. CT.

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.