ST. LOUIS -- Jhonny Peralta could begin a Minor League rehab assignment by the third week of May, and Tommy Pham could be off the disabled list by then, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said while offering a list of injury updates prior to Friday night's game against the Nationals.
Peralta, who began light fielding exercises this week, is hopeful of gaining clearance to resume swinging when he is re-evaluated in about 10 days. If that's the case, Peralta, who underwent left thumb surgery in early March, would likely head out on a rehab assignment about two weeks after that.
Of the six players the Cardinals currently have on the DL, Pham appears to be closest to returning. Pham, who strained his left oblique on Opening Day, hit off a pitching machine on Friday and will continue to do so throughout the weekend. The Cardinals would like to see him move around the outfield to shag flies during batting practice next week as a final checkpoint before sending him to an affiliate to play in games.
The news hasn't been so positive for reliever Mitch Harris, who recently halted a throwing program in extended spring workouts due to continued discomfort in his right elbow. As a result, Harris will travel to St. Louis to be examined by Dr. George Paletta on Monday. An MRI taken of Harris' elbow during Spring Training showed no structural issues, but the Cardinals want to get another look.
"Clearly, the approach of being patient has not gotten him to where he feels comfortable," Mozeliak said. "The only way he's described it to us is that he just doesn't feel like he can finish his pitches. That's hard to interpret what he means, and that makes it really hard to diagnosis and to treat."
Brayan Pena (left knee surgery) has been working out on an antigravity treadmill, Mozeliak said, but likely remains at least two weeks away from taking another significant step forward in his rehab.
• Right-hander Luke Weaver, the organization's top pick in the 2014 Draft, has resumed throwing after recovering from a left wrist fracture suffered during Spring Training.
• Asked if Jose Oquendo could rejoin the big league team at some point this season, Mozeliak said he'll likely check in with Oquendo in June to see what progress the longtime third-base coach has made in his recovery from knee surgery. Oquendo is rehabbing in Jupiter, Fla., and working with the team's Minor League players based there.
Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. 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.