ST. LOUIS -- Tyler Lyons left the Cardinals' clubhouse Thursday morning to travel to New Orleans, where he'll join the Triple-A Memphis club to begin a Minor League rehab assignment.
Lyons, who is working his way back to full strength after offseason surgery on his right knee, will start for Memphis on Friday. Neither he, nor St. Louis manager Mike Matheny, knew how many pitches Lyons would throw, but it's unlikely the left-hander would be extended for more than a few innings.
Lyons can remain on the assignment for up to 30 days, and the Cardinals may maximize that in order for Lyons to build up arm strength and prove that he has regained full mobility. Lyons is out of options, too, meaning the Cards will either have to place him on the Major League roster or on waivers when he is activated from the disabled list.
"See how he feels, see how it looks," Matheny said of Lyons. "It's a big deal for Tyler to have a sharp break on his curveball and his slider. He's going to need that time to get things right, and we'll just kind of adjust as we go."
Kimmel pokes fun at Piscotty
Two days after taking a throw off his helmet and being hit on both elbows, outfielder Stephen Piscotty was out of the Cardinals' lineup on Thursday. He was available to come off the bench, however, and Matheny indicated that Piscotty likely would do so later in the game.
Piscotty did take pregame swings in the cage, and aside from soreness around his right elbow, he said that he felt just fine.
Piscotty also acknowledged getting a chuckle out of his unexpected Jimmy Kimmel Live! appearance on Wednesday. Kimmel built a comedy bit around Piscotty's painful trip around the bases and then showed a clip of a staged postgame interview in which a man impersonating the Cardinals' right fielder was struck by a ball and a bat while answering reporters' questions.
Piscotty saw the clip after being alerted to it by family and friends, and he had no issue with Kimmel making light of the incident.
"It's OK," Piscotty said. "It's all in good fun. Shared a few laughs about it."
• Reliever Trevor Rosenthal (right lat strain) threw off the mound on Thursday, his second such bullpen session in three days. He's eligible to come off the 10-day disabled list on Sunday, and Matheny said it's possible that Rosenthal will be ready to do so on that date. The Cardinals are still weighing whether the righty needs the work of a Minor League rehab assignment before returning.
• The Cardinals announced the addition of five theme nights to their season schedule. Those include Illini Night (May 19), KMOX Day (June 1), Game of Thrones Night (July 5), Mizzou Night (July 28) and Billikens Night (September 28). For more information on the various theme nights and/or to purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/theme.
Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. 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.