Notes: Spiezio still rehabbing

Notes: Spiezio still rehabbing

PITTSBURGH -- Scott Spiezio's return to full availability is still progressing in fits and starts. The switch-hitting Spiezio was held out of the Cardinals lineup on Tuesday night against Pirates left-hander Oliver Perez, with lefty-swinging rookie Chris Duncan getting the call instead.

"I don't think Spiezio is ready to go yet, 100 percent, so I'd rather save him for an in-game situation," said manager Tony La Russa.

Spiezio has been back with the team for about a week since missing time with an upper respiratory infection. He has made one start since his return, getting three at-bats but leaving after four innings once the Cardinals took the lead.

Duncan, coming off a two-hit game against Brewers lefty Chris Capuano on Saturday, got the call and batted seventh. Partly as a result of Duncan being in the lineup against the lefty, Yadier Molina received a little bump. Molina has made the vast majority of his starts this year in either the seventh or eighth spot in the order, but he hit sixth on Tuesday. Molina entered the game hitting .407 (11-for-27) in June.

Rodriguez sore, sits: Outfielder John Rodriguez was not in the starting lineup on Tuesday, but Rodriguez reported that he was ready to go despite a "jammed" right wrist he sustained on Sunday in Milwaukee. Rodriguez was listed as available on the lineup card against Perez.

"I'm fine," Rodriguez said. "It's just sore. That's it."

Bringing them on board: The Cardinals announced on Tuesday that they signed 22 members of their 2006 draft class, highlighted by second-rounder Brad Furnish, a left-hander out of Texas Christian University, and supplemental second-rounder Mark Hamilton, a first baseman from Tulane.

Third-rounder Gary Daley, sixth-round choice Tyler Norrick and hometown boy Travis Mitchell (13th round) were also on the list of signees. The Cardinals top pick, Adam Ottavino, remains unsigned, while high-round selections Chris Perez and Jon Jay are still playing college ball and are not eligible to sign yet.

Big night, big week: Right-hander Perez, the closer for the University of Miami, came through in a big way for the Hurricanes on Monday night. Perez, the Cardinals second pick (supplemental first round) in last week's draft, pitched five innings of relief for the win as UM advanced to the College World Series. Perez allowed two runs on five hits, striking out five without a walk. Fellow draftee Jay went 3-for-3 with four runs scored in the 14-9 win over Mississippi.

Perez and Jay are two of six Cardinals draftees who will be participating in the College World Series starting this weekend. Oregon State's Mitch Canham, Rice's Eddie Degerman, John Goodman of Georgia Tech and North Carolina's Robert Woodard are all headed to Omaha.

This date in Cardinals history: On June 13, 2003, the Cardinals were unwillingly part of history. Roger Clemens recorded career win No. 300 and career strikeout No. 4,000 on a Friday night at Yankee Stadium as the Redbirds fell to the Yanks, 5-2. Edgar Renteria was the milestone K victim, while Jim Edmonds provided the offensive highlight with a solo home run.

Baby birds: Dennis Tankersley struck out seven but allowed five runs, seven hits and four walks over six innings as Triple-A Memphis lost, 5-2, to Oklahoma on Monday. Derek Wathan doubled twice and John Gall drove in two runs. ... Stuart Pomeranz pitched eight solid innings (four hits, two runs, three walks, two Ks) to improve to 7-2 as Double-A Springfield beat Arkansas, 3-2. Juan Richardson and Rico Washington both hit home runs. ... Class A Palm Beach swept a doubleheader from St. Lucie, 11-5 and 4-2. Amaury Marti, a 2006 Cardinals draftee, hit his first home run in his second at-bat for the PB Cards. Juan Lucena had four hits and five RBIs on the day. ... Colby Rasmus homered, doubled and walked, and Casey Rowlett went 4-for-4, in Class A Quad Cities' 10-4 win over Southwest Michigan.

The player of the day is Quad Cities starter Kyle Sadlowski, who went the distance despite allowing 10 base hits. Sadlowski didn't allow a walk and struck out two to improve to 4-1 on the year.

Coming up: Sidney Ponson looks to get back to winning on Wednesday night when he takes the mound in a 6:05 p.m. CT start. Ponson will face Pirates left-hander Zach Duke in the middle game of this three-game series at PNC Park.

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