Franklin unavailable Saturday vs. Nats

Franklin unavailable Saturday vs. Nats

WASHINGTON -- Ryan Franklin walked around the Cardinals' clubhouse on Saturday afternoon with a large wrap around his neck and likely was not available to pitch Saturday night's game against Washington at Nationals Park.

The right-hander said he woke up with a stiff neck -- caused, he believes, by substandard pillows in his hotel room. He might not have been available anyway after working hard in each of the Cardinals' past two games, but the odds got even longer with the neck issue. Both he and manager Tony La Russa believe it to be a short-term situation, though.

"I woke up this morning and can't turn," Franklin said.

Meanwhile, the Cards' apparent backup closer, Jason Motte, got closer to a return to active duty on Friday. Motte, on the disabled list with a shoulder injury, pitched two seamless innings for Triple-A Memphis on Friday night in the second game of his Minor League rehabilitation assignment. La Russa said he expects Motte to join the Cardinals in Houston after this weekend.