Diaz eyeing September return from hand injury

Cardinals rookie suffered a fractured thumb on July 31

Diaz eyeing September return from hand injury

MILWAUKEE -- During his visit to a hand specialist on Monday, Aledmys Diaz received the go-ahead to increase his swing work and prepare for a rehab assignment that will get him ready to return to the Cardinals in September.

Manager Mike Matheny said the results of that visit as "all positive," adding Diaz will head to Florida on Tuesday to begin taking more swings. Diaz, who suffered a fractured right thumb when he was hit by an Andrew Cashner pitch on July 31, resumed ground-ball work last week.

The last step before a return to the big leagues will be throwing.

"I think what's encouraging is it looks like there's going to be an opportunity for him to get his timing with his hitting, and then it's just going to depend on how quick it feels good to throw," Matheny said. "That's going to be probably more of a challenge than anything else. But holding the bat and swinging seem to be good."

The Cardinals expect Diaz to get some game exposure before the Minor League season ends, even if he's limited to a designated hitter role. Matheny would not speculate whether there's a chance the rookie shortstop could return to the Cardinals before the end of this road trip, which continues through Sept. 7.

Worth noting

• It does not appear as if Matt Adams (right shoulder inflammation) will rejoin the Cardinals until after rosters expand on Thursday. Postponing the first baseman's return a few more days will allow the Cardinals to add him to the roster without having to make a corresponding subtraction. In three games since beginning his rehab assignment with Triple-A Memphis, Adams is 3-for-10 with a double, homer and two RBIs.

• Instead of making another rehab start this week, Lance Lynn (Tommy John recovery) has joined the big league club for this road trip. He does not expect to make any more rehab appearances this season and has turned his focus toward readying for his offseason work.

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.