ST. LOUIS -- Ailing Cardinals position players Stephen Piscotty and Aledmys Diaz remained out of the lineup on Thursday, but manager Mike Matheny noted that both would be available bench players for the team's I-70 Series finale against the Royals.
Piscotty arrived at the ballpark more than five hours before the scheduled first pitch to resume treatment on his bruised left ankle. The swelling had reduced, Piscotty said, since Wednesday evening, which is when he struck the side of his ankle with a foul ball and then later had a fly ball bounce and hit him in the same spot.
"[There is] definitely some bruising, [but I am] walking OK right now so [it's] nothing serious," Piscotty said on Thursday afternoon. "It just hurt. You can tell when you have a bad bruise and you hit [it] in the same spot, it's going to swell. That's just the way it is."
Piscotty said that while he did not anticipate taking any swings before the game, he'd likely get loose in the batting cages in-game to make himself ready for a potential pinch-hit appearance. Piscotty delivered a home run, his ninth of the season, in Wednesday's loss.
Diaz hasn't been in the lineup since fouling a ball off his right eye on Monday. In the three days that have since passed, the swelling has mostly receded, leaving Diaz to sport a deep bruise around his eye. His vision, however, is not affected.
"It's a lot better," said Diaz, who did participate in pregame work on Thursday. "I feel like I can play today, help my team today."
Diaz maintained a sense of humor while healing, and got his teammates laughing on Wednesday when he watched the start of the game in Brayan Pena's catching gear -- mask, chest protector, and all. It was protection, Diaz joked, after two straight days of being hit by foul balls. On Tuesday, a line drive into the dugout struck him on the side.
Said Diaz: "I was just trying to have fun, enjoy the game."
• Reliever Sam Tuivailala will represent the Memphis Redbirds in the Triple-A All-Star Game on July 13. Tuivailala was the only Memphis player selected for the squad, though Redbirds manager Mike Shildt has been named the hitting coach for the Pacific Coast League squad. Tuivailala has a 5.23 ERA over 28 appearances.
Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.