Ottavino throws prior to Tuesday's game

Ottavino throws prior to Tuesday's game

ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals right-hander Adam Ottavino, on the disabled list since July with a shoulder injury, threw to hitters before Tuesday night's game against the Pirates.

"I threw all my pitches, I threw strikes for the most part," he said. "I felt fine. I wasn't pin-point with every pitch, but considering the circumstances, I thought it went well."

Ottavino appeared in five games for the Cardinals, including three starts, and went 0-2 with an 8.46 ERA in 22 1/3 innings before going on the disabled list.

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said at that time that Ottavino's shoulder "has been barking all year off and on. We decided we would try to back him off so he can get well."

The manager said on Tuesday that Ottavino could pitch at some point over the final six games of the season, depending on how he feels after Tuesday's 30-pitch session.

"I heard he threw the ball pretty well," La Russa said. "We'll see how he comes back the next day or two. We really have a need for another arm, if he gets the green light from the doctors and the trainers. Normally, I would say no. But between [Blake] Hawksworth and [Adam] Wainwright, we'll be pushing guys the next five days if we have a game where we use a lot of people, guys that really shouldn't be pushed this time of year. So we'd welcome him if he gets the medical OK."

Ottavino is hoping to get back on the mound after months of rehab.

"It would be good, just because then I could come in next year and be on a regular schedule, and not have to worry about anything in [the] spring and just be kind of like proof that everything worked out good. But at the same time, in my head and my heart, I know I am good right now," he said.

The 24-year-old was able to avoid having surgery on his shoulder.

"From the beginning, my point of view was [that] surgery was the last option," Ottavino said. "You never know how you're going to come back. You never know the extent of the injury until you go in there, and I just didn't want to go through that process if I didn't have to. I knew the way I was feeling that I had a good shot, and with the other doctor that I talked to and people that had gone through similar things. I listened to the way my arm felt, too. I said, 'I think I can get through this, but if I can't, then I am wrong -- but it was a good gamble.'"