Rosenthal in line for activation from DL

Rosenthal in line for activation from DL

ST. LOUIS -- Nine pitches was all Trevor Rosenthal needed on Tuesday to feel confident that he's ready to transition out of the rehab phase and back into a relief role for the Cardinals.

Throwing his second batting-practice session in four days, Rosenthal faced three hitters. He struck out two (Alberto Rosario and Tommy Pham) and generated a lazy fly ball off the bat of Brayan Pena. It completed a 25-minute exercise that began with Rosenthal playing flat-ground catch and throwing off the mound in the bullpen.

"There were a few feel things I wanted to be able to repeat, some mechanical things, and I went into it with the idea that if I could feel confident with those, I would save the bullets," Rosenthal said of choosing to cut off the session when he did. "I feel pretty confident in the way the ball is coming out, my command, and being able to repeat my delivery."

The progress Rosenthal has made since being shut down with inflammation in his right shoulder on July 26 has him in line to be activated from the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday. Michael Wacha, who threw BP on Monday, is also expected to be activated at that time.

Wacha, like Rosenthal, will become an option out of the bullpen. He has been sidelined since Aug. 9 with a stress reaction in his right shoulder.

Pena, who stood in against both pitchers this week, was effusive with his praise afterward.

"That was very good from both of them," Pena said. "I think, today, Rosey was unbelievable. That was elite stuff I saw from him today. Michael also looked very good. All of his pitches were down. He had some good arm speed. Everything was coming out of his hand with a lot of velocity, and that's good. He had good extension, was letting it go and wasn't shy about any pitches. It was like he hadn't missed a beat."

Worth noting

• Though not initially in Tuesday's lineup, Matt Carpenter worked his way into it by passing a battery of tests one day after exiting with tightness in his back. He replaced Greg Garcia in the leadoff spot and at second base.

Aledmys Diaz returned to the lineup on Tuesday for the first time since fracturing his right thumb on July 31. At the time of the injury, he ranked 10th in the National League with a .312 batting average.

• State College (Pa.) became the third short-season Cardinals affiliate to capture a league championship when it defeated Hudson Valley, 2-1, on Monday to sweep the New York-Penn League Championship Series. It's the second title in three seasons for the Spikes, who had a regular-season record of 50-26.

Adam Wainwright was recognized as the Cardinals' Roberto Clemente nominee during an on-field ceremony on Tuesday. Fans can support Wainwright's candidacy by using #VoteWainwright on Twitter and Facebook through Oct. 2.

• Wainwright has also been selected as a finalist for the Marvin Miller Man of the Year award, which goes to the player whose on-field performance and contributions to his community most inspire others to higher levels of achievement. Voting at www.MLBPlayers.com will continue through Sunday, at which point the finalists will be reduced to one per division.

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.