Isringhausen faced hitters on Monday for the first time since going to Florida a week ago. It was his second throwing session.
Isringhausen has 11 saves and six blown saves and manager Tony La Russa has said his return was open-ended. "You don't want to (activate) him until he's ready to pitch in his role," said La Russa.
Left-hander Mark Mulder has taken a step backward by returning to Jupiter. Coming off shoulder surgery of last September, Mulder had almost completed a 30-day rehabilitation option when he encountered a shoulder strain. He then was about to start a second rehab option but the day before that was to start, he experienced more shoulder stiffness and was sent back to Jupiter, where he will begin throwing again.
NOTES AND QUOTES
--RHP Joel Pineiro, who is being skipped a start, suffered a groin strain while shagging fly balls in San Diego last Wednesday. "It stinks," said Pineiro. "I pitched my best game of the year (on Tuesday) and then this happens." Pineiro tentatively is slated to face Pittsburgh in St. Louis on Saturday but manager Tony La Russa said, "I think it's healthy to have a doubt. That way, you're not blind-sided."
--RHP Chris Perez hasn't been scored on in his first five outings as a big leaguer, but manager Tony La Russa said he was not tempted to use the rookie as his closer. RHP Ryan Franklin will retain that job in the absence of rehabbing RHP Jason Isringhausen.
--The Cardinals won their 30th game in their 51st outing this season. Last year, they didn't win their 30th until their 66th game.
--RHP Todd Wellemeyer, in his first full season as a big-league starter, has six or more innings in nine of his 11 starts and navigated five innings the other two times.
--After a slow start, C Yadier Molina has gunned down 10 of 29 runners who have attempted to steal against him this year.
Then there is acknowledged staff ace Chris Carpenter, who is recovering from last July's "Tommy John" elbow surgery. Carpenter threw to hitters Monday and is about a month away from his own rehab option.
Also rehabbing in Jupiter are right-hander Matt Clement (shoulder surgery), who has pitched in some extended spring training games, and righty Josh Kinney (elbow surgeries), who is on a throwing program.
Their futures are a little more uncertain, especially that of Kinney, who is unlikely to pitch this season.