The Cardinals Major League Notebook 05/16

Brendan Ryan (strained left hamstring) was activated from the 15-day disabled list and Mitchell Boggs, the starter in Thursday's 5-1 win at Pittsburgh, was optioned to Class AAA Memphis on Friday.

The move gives manager Tony La Russa bit more flexibility with his bench now that he has five extra men instead of four. But what it means more importantly is that Chris Carpenter, out five weeks with a torn left oblique muscle, likely will get the next turn through the rotation.

Carpenter threw in the Busch Stadium bullpen Friday afternoon, simulating a pre-game warm-up, four innings of work and warm-up periods between innings. Bullpen coach Marty Mason stood in as a hitter but didn't take any swings against Carpenter.

La Russa refused to commit to a return date, saying, "We're going to take this one step at a time."

However, optioning Boggs to clear roster room for Ryan suggests Carpenter will appear within the next 10 days, since a player may not return within 10 days after being optioned, barring a player on the 25-man roster being disabled. The Cardinals will need a fifth starter on May 23 against Kansas City and if Carpenter does well in a side session on Tuesday, his next appearance could be in a real game next weekend.

"The way it felt today, I think I'm going to be fine," Carpenter said. "Granted, I could wake up tomorrow and feel super-sore. But I'm not concerned about it. Everything went good and everything felt good, so I think I'm going to be just fine."

Notes, Quotes

• Friday's game with Milwaukee was rained out in the second inning, costing RHP Kyle Lohse(notes) his start and rookie RF Colby Rasmus(notes) his second homer in two nights. Rasmus had hit a two-run drive off Milwaukee's Yovani Gallardo(notes) over the right-field bullpen. The game will be rescheduled for Monday night, and RHP Joel Pineiro(notes) probably will pitch that day rather than Tuesday against Chicago. Lohse likely would get the Tuesday start against the Cubs although manager Tony La Russa said he wanted to sleep on it before deciding.

• The Cardinals will meet Milwaukee more than any other team this season. They still have 18 games remaining against the Brewers, with three series scheduled at each venue.

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