Notes: Ailing Cards regroup after off-day

Notes: Ailing Cards regroup after off-day

SAN DIEGO -- Following a big win on Wednesday, Cardinals players and coaches prepared to revel in a well-deserved off-day. When the day came, many of them were too sick to enjoy it.

At least 12 members of the team's traveling party came down with an internal illness between the end of Wednesday's game and Friday morning. Catcher Yadier Molina spent time in a hospital in San Diego on Thursday, receiving fluids, and closer Jason Isringhausen didn't even come to the park until almost game time.

"It's gastroenteritis," said head athletic trainer Barry Weinberg. "That covers all of it -- either viral or bacterial. It's something that went through everybody, whether it's something we ate, or contact, who knows? There are a lot of inconsistencies with who got it, and what they ate and who they were with. So, it just happened. Yesterday, we would have had a hard time fielding a team. The off-day came at a good time."

Besides Molina and Isringhausen, Jeff Suppan, John Rodriguez, Tyler Johnson, Randy Flores, Mark Mulder and hitting coach Hal McRae all were among the affected. Weinberg said that, as of Friday, Johnson was the worst off.

Whither Carpenter: The Cardinals still hold out hope that ailing right-hander Chris Carpenter could make his scheduled start on Tuesday, but they're preparing for the possibility of placing him on the disabled list. Carpenter, who was scratched on Wednesday in San Francisco, has an inflamed bursa sac below his right shoulder.

"If there's any doubt at all, we'll err on the side of caution," manager Tony La Russa said.

If Carpenter heads to the DL, the obvious choice to take his next two starts would be right-hander Anthony Reyes, who would be on regular rest on Tuesday. He was optioned after his spot start on Saturday, so it would be 10 days since then -- the minimum delay required for an optioned player to be recalled.

On Saturday, the Cardinals will activate Sidney Ponson from the 15-day disabled list. They expect to option Chris Duncan at that time, but if they feel that Carpenter should go on the DL, they'll deactivate him and keep Duncan on the roster until Tuesday.

"If we feel like [Carpenter] is going to be better off taking 'X' number of days off from there, another 10 days, we could disable him," La Russa said. "If not, we'll hold him over until he has the ball against Houston and see if he can be ready by then."

This date in Cardinals history: On May 26, 1965, Cardinals lefty Curt Simmons outdueled future Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax at Dodger Stadium. A Ken Boyer sac fly and a Julian Javier RBI single provided the offense for St. Louis in a 2-1 win over Los Angeles. Simmons pitched a complete game, allowing a run on five hits and three walks.

Baby 'Birds: Brian Daubach, John Nelson and Brian Esposito all hit solo homers in support of a dominant Reyes as Triple-A Memphis beat Tacoma, 4-1, on Thursday. ... Brian Martin and Rayner Laya had four hits each in Double-A Springfield's 10-1 thrashing of Frisco. Jordan Pals allowed a run on eight hits over 6 2/3 innings, striking out five and walking two. ... Mark Michael went the distance for Class A Palm Beach, which beat Sarasota, 10-1. Michael twirled a two-hitter with five strikeouts and didn't issue a walk. Ryan Barthelemy and Matt Dryer had three hits each. ... Jaime Garcia and Class A Quad Cities made it 4-for-4, beating Cedar Rapids, 1-0. Garcia went eight innings, allowing five hits with five strikeouts and no walks. Adam Rodgers singled and had Quad Cities' only RBI.

Reyes is a very tough choice for Player of the Day, thanks to his eight shutout innings, barely nosing out Garcia. The right-hander permitted three hits and one walk, striking out eight. On the year, Reyes is 2-1 with a 3.10 ERA, 48 strikeouts and six walks in 52 1/3 innings.

Coming up: Ponson makes his return from the disabled list on Saturday for his first start since sustaining a strained muscle in his elbow on May 7. He'll face off against another right-hander enjoying something of a resurgent season, San Diego's Chan Ho Park. First pitch is set for 3:05 p.m. CT at PETCO Park.

Matthew Leach is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.