Tejada to begin rehab stint on Thursday

But veteran may not return to Cardinals as starting shortstop

Tejada to begin rehab stint on Thursday

ST. LOUIS -- Shortstop Ruben Tejada, sidelined by a left quad strain since March 31, will join the Cardinals' Double-A Springfield affiliate on Thursday to begin a Minor League rehab assignment. He could then be ready to come off the 15-day disabled list, general manager John Mozeliak said, as early as Sunday.

Tejada injured himself running down the first-base line in the team's Grapefruit League finale. The Cardinals were hopeful that by pulling Tejada out immediately and having him halt baseball activities for a while, his time missed would be limited. The earliest date he would be eligible to come off the DL is Saturday.

That time away, however, may cost him future playing opportunities. Aledmys Diaz, who was bumped to Minor League camp when Tejada signed in mid-March, has seized the opening at short in Tejada's absence. Mozeliak acknowledged that the shortstop situation could be "complicated," but also noted that Tejada won't necessarily jump Diaz on the depth chart upon returning.

"We signed Ruben to give us depth," Mozeliak said. "One of the things we wanted to do was allow Diaz to play. At the time, the thinking was to give him at-bats at Memphis and let him continue to grow. Well, guess what? That didn't happen. He had to come here and now he's getting a chance to play at the Major League level and he's taking full advantage of that. He's performing well."

Worth noting

• Manager Mike Matheny started Jedd Gyorko at second base in Wednesday's 6-4 loss to the Brewers in place of Kolten Wong, who went hitless in nine at-bats on Sunday and Monday. Matheny's intent, as it was with Randal Grichuk last weekend, was to give Wong a day to mentally unplug and rest.

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.