ST. LOUIS -- In order to make room on the 40-man roster for the addition of starter Joe Kelly, the Cardinals have given reliever Scott Linebrink his unconditional release.
Linebrink, who went on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation on the second day of the season, recently incurred his second setback in the rehab process. That left the Cardinals feeling that their best move would be to cut ties with Linebrink, rather than moving him to the 60-day DL and continuing to aid him in the rehab process.
"We just felt like it wasn't going in the right direction," general manager John Mozeliak said following Friday's 6-2 loss to the Indians. "And more importantly, with the number of players we have on the DL, it is just tough putting resources into that. Unfortunately, it didn't work. One of the main reasons we signed him was to give us a veteran presence in the bullpen, and we didn't see that light at the end of the tunnel coming soon."
Linebrink disclosed on Friday that he has recently been bothered by right biceps tendinitis, an issue that is likely the result of having been shut down for an extended period of time while letting the initial shoulder injury heal.
Linebrink, who has not pitched this season, threw his scheduled bullpen on Thursday, but noted a day later that it "was not as good as it had been the last two times." Linebrink was scheduled to see team orthopedist Dr. Luke Choi for another opinion on Friday.
"It's not fun, especially when you feel like you're making strides and something sets you back again," Linebrink said on Friday afternoon, before being told of the organization's decision. "I feel like we've had a couple sets of crossroads during this journey, and I'm in another one right now."
While this move gets Kelly onto the 40-man roster, another roster decision will have to be made before Sunday's game to open a spot on the 25-man roster for the young righty.
Garcia to be shut down for at least four weeks
ST. LOUIS -- Jaime Garcia will be shut down for at least the next four weeks after a second opinion on Friday confirmed that he has an impingement in his left shoulder.
Garcia traveled to California to visit with Dr. Lewis Yocum, who examined Garcia and reviewed the studies already done by the Cardinals' medical staff. According to general manager John Mozeliak, Yocum "was in agreement with what our medical staff sees."
Yocum's recommendation was for Garcia to rest and go through shoulder therapy for the next four weeks. Surgery was not recommended as a potential remedy.
Garcia will also seek a third opinion -- this one from Dr. James Andrews -- on Monday in order to get additional assurance that the diagnosis is correct.
- 142 wins
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Garcia was placed on the 15-day disabled list and will be replaced in the rotation, at least for now, by right-hander Joe Kelly. Garcia first complained of a shoulder issue after allowing six runs in two innings on Tuesday. That start had already been pushed back four days because of elbow discomfort.
"It's not too unusual when you have your shoulder that's bothering you and then you put more pressure on your elbow," Mozeliak said. "We are reading what he tells us."
With this timetable, Garcia won't begin throwing again until, at the earliest, right around the All-Star break. His return to the club would then come several weeks later, as Garcia would have to go through the proper process of building up his arm again.
Injured Cardinals at various stages of rehab
ST. LOUIS -- With the recent addition of Jaime Garcia, the Cardinals currently have eight players on the disabled list. Some of them were in St. Louis on Friday to provide updates on their progress:
Matt Carpenter (right oblique strain) said he was encouraged by how good he felt after taking batting practice on Friday. It was the second straight day Carpenter had hit on the field. He has been throwing and doing fielding work for a while now.
Carpenter, who is already eligible to come off the disabled list, is expected to begin a Minor League rehab assignment soon.
"I came in today and wasn't more sore than I had been," Carpenter said. "Hopefully we just keep progressing and get to the point where I can get in games. You just have to do the right steps and hope that you're preparing yourself and getting stronger."
Joining Carpenter for batting practice was Skip Schumaker, who has been on the DL since May 31 with a right hamstring strain. In addition to taking swings, Schumaker participated in infield fielding drills. He began running again on Thursday.
"Things are progressing as good as could possibly be," Schumaker said. "You never know with the hamstring. I've never had [this injury] before, so you just go off what the normal recovery time is. It was a 2-4 week [recovery timetable]. Hopefully I'm closer to the two."
Right-hander Chris Carpenter has progressed to the point where he can play long toss on the field. There is still, however, no timetable for when he'll be cleared to return to a mound. Carpenter has not been on a mound since March, when nerve irritation near his right shoulder shut him down.
"He's still trending in the right direction," general manager John Mozeliak said. "Maybe in the next 2-3 weeks, we'll have a good idea of where he's at."
Jon Jay (sprained right shoulder) said on Friday that he has felt a lot better in recent days. Jay is nearing the end of a period of rest that began after the outfielder sought a second opinion on his shoulder.
There remains no timetable for when Jay will resume hitting or swinging. He is working through various arm exercises.
"I'm just taking it day to day," said Jay, who hasn't played since May 15. "I'm just trying to get better. I want to get out there as soon as I can."
Former Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan was at Busch Stadium on Friday to watch his son, Shelley, an outfielder for the Indians. The elder Duncan stood behind the batting cage as Shelley Duncan took his pregame swings.
Two of the Cardinals' first three picks from the First-Year Player Draft met in a Super Regional game between Florida State University and Stanford University on Friday night. Both James Ramsey (FSU) and Stephen Piscotty (Stanford) batted third for their respective clubs in the opening game of the best-of-three series. The games will be played at FSU.
Cardinals reliever Victor Marte welcomed a son, Victor Jr., into the world on Friday. Even with the birth of his son, Marte was at Busch Stadium and available to pitch in the opener against the Indians.
With his ninth season win on Thursday, Lance Lynn is tied with New York's R.A. Dickey for the National League lead.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.