Peralta cleared to swing bat in thumb rehab

Peralta cleared to swing bat in thumb rehab

ANAHEIM -- Two months after tearing a ligament in his left thumb, Cardinals shortstop Jhonny Peralta has been cleared to start swinging a bat. That green light came during a followup doctor's visit this week, general manager John Mozeliak confirmed.

Peralta will gradually resume swinging, first taking dry cuts and then hitting in the batting cage. If he progresses as expected, he should be ready to take batting practice with the club in its next homestand. Mozeliak said previously that he was hopeful Peralta would be ready for a Minor League rehab assignment around May 21, but that the Cardinals will get a better picture of a realistic timeframe once Peralta is re-evaluated again next week.

While Peralta is working his way toward that rehab assignment, outfielder Tommy Pham remains involved in his own. Since joining Triple-A Memphis last Wednesday, Pham has played in six games and tallied four singles in 18 at-bats. Manager Mike Matheny said Pham, who suffered a left oblique strain on Opening Day, was headed back to St. Louis for a followup visit and would then resume his rehab assignment with either Memphis or Double-A Springfield.

"We're just watching the production at this point," Matheny said. "Health-wise, he seems to be doing well. He just seems to be getting his timing back. You take six weeks off, it takes some time. We're just watching and waiting until everything feels good, not just health-wise and baseball-wise. … He doesn't feel like he's quite game-ready yet."

The Cardinals are content letting Pham dictate the length of his rehab assignment, in part because the club doesn't have a glaring need that he would fill at the Major League level.

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.