ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals outfielder Jon Jay took a step forward in his return from a sprained right shoulder before Friday's game against the Phillies.
Jay hit off a tee and did some soft toss in his first workout since the injury that sent him to the disabled list on May 16. He said he is hopeful to rejoin the team during its upcoming 10-game road trip to Atlanta, New York and Houston.
The outfielder, who hit .343 with two home runs and eight RBIs in his first 27 games this season, wasn't sure if he would need a rehab assignment before returning to the active roster.
"We'll see how these next couple days go," Jay said. "Today was just the first day. I still have to do a couple more things. It's coming along. It's definitely getting better."
General manager John Mozeliak said Jay was on track to return soon after his 15 days on the disabled list were up.
"Jay may be a day or two extra, but he swung the bat today and felt pretty good," Mozeliak said.
Salas dealing with some struggles out of 'pen
ST. LOUIS -- Reliever Fernando Salas struggled in his one inning on Thursday, when he allowed two earned runs on four hits and took the loss in the Cardinals' 10-9 loss to the Phillies.
In 15 2/3 innings over 18 appearances this season, Salas is 0-3 with a 6.32 ERA. The right-hander has allowed 23 hits and walked 11 batters (two intentionally).
That's a far cry from his work in 2011, when he went 5-6 with a 2.28 ERA in 75 innings over 68 appearances and saved 24 of his 30 opportunities.
"Last season, he was controlling the corners of the strike zone early and controlling the counts and working ahead, and that made his changeup that much better," manager Mike Matheny said. "We're seeing him work from behind and catching a lot of plate right now. So it's just a little different right now. We have to get him fixed."
Salas had an 0-1 record and 4.50 ERA in eight innings over 11 appearances in April, in which he allowed four earned runs on 12 hits, struck out 11 and walked two. In May, he's 0-2 with an 8.22 ERA, and has allowed seven earned runs on 11 hits over 7 2/3 innings, with 10 strikeouts and seven walks.
"The problem is we've seen some really good outings that make us think [he's OK], and then you've seen a couple others that just haven't been quite him," Matheny said. "It's hard to figure out what that right spot is. Some guys thrive when you put them in a tougher spot, and then other guys it doesn't matter the spot if they are not right. We're just kind of sifting through that."
Cardinals to call up reliever Fick
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals will make a roster move to fortify their bullpen on Saturday, as right-hander Chuckie Fick will be called up from Triple-A Memphis, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The Cardinals did not confirm the report, and the corresponding move was not yet known.
Fick, a 6-foot-5 righty, was a 15th-round selection by the Cardinals in the 2007 Draft. The 26-year-old is 1-0 with two saves and a 3.86 ERA in 21 innings over 21 appearances for Memphis this season, with 19 hits allowed, 10 strikeouts and seven walks. Opponents hit .241 against him.
He went 5-3 with a 2.30 ERA in 54 appearances for Memphis in 2011, and was a combined 5-1 with a 3.79 ERA in 32 appearances, six starts, between Memphis and Double-A Springfield in 2010.
General manager John Mozeliak was asked about a possible timetable for the return of pitcher Chris Carpenter, who has been on the disabled list since March 26 with a right shoulder injury.
"Again, it's probably a little premature to start guessing when he might be able to come back since he isn't quite able to throw yet, but we are still hopeful, because there is a level of optimism with the strength he's gained and where he's at in his current rehab program," Mozeliak said.
The Cardinals currently have seven players on the disabled list: Carpenter, Scott Linebrink (right shoulder capsulitis), Jon Jay (sprained right shoulder), Allen Craig (left hamstring strain), Kyle McClellan (right elbow strain), Lance Berkman (right knee) and Matt Carpenter (right oblique).
"Obviously, in a perfect world, you'd like to not have players on the DL, but we're experiencing a rash of injuries right now; but we'll figure out a way to get through it," Mozeliak said.
The Cardinals are the first team this season with three players with 10 or more home runs. Carlos Beltran has 14, while David Freese and Matt Holliday each have 10. St. Louis leads the National League with 59 homers entering Friday.
Nate Latsch is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.