But Thompson threw 1 2/3 innings in Sunday's series finale against the Phillies, an indication that La Russa also feels Wellemeyer should be fine to start. Thompson would not be able to start on just one day of rest.
Wellemeyer underwent X-rays on Saturday and the picture didn't reveal any broken bones in the wrist. The righty said it didn't bother him immediately after the game or on Thursday, but he started to feel some discomfort on Friday. He then had to shut down his bullpen session on Saturday after 10 throws because the wrist started to stiffen up on him.
"It was just stiff and I couldn't get it loose. There's no reason to press anything if you're not throwing in a game," Wellemeyer said. "I'm good to go though now. I feel great."
Carp feeling good: One day after he went through a normal pregame warmup, Cards ace Chris Carpenter said he felt good and was ready to throw again sometime this week.
Carpenter threw his full assortment of pitches before Saturday's game -- including offspeed pitches for the first time since his elbow surgery -- and said there were no ill-effects.
The righty, who was excited about the session, will meet with team doctor George Paletta when the team arrives in New York for its four-game series against the Mets starting on Monday. There, Paletta and Carpenter will begin planning out the hurler's schedule before he's ready to return to big-league games.
Molina close: Injured catcher Yadier Molina was on the field before Sunday's game, catching behind the plate and throwing down to second and third base. La Russa said he's been encouraged from what he's seen and heard from the catcher.
"I think there's a possibility he could play [on the] next homestand," La Russa said. "Will he be ready for the first game? I don't know. He's making good progress, though."
La Russa also said he thought injured shortstop David Eckstein would be able to return to the team as soon as he comes off the disabled list. Eckstein was placed on the DL on June 14.
Taguchi in the zone: Center fielder So Taguchi, in the midst of a career-high 16-game hitting streak, extended it on Sunday with a double in the third.
Taguchi, who is playing in place of injured center fielder Jim Edmonds, is 23-for-61 during the streak. It's his longest streak both in the big leagues and in his career in Japan.
"It's come at a good time for us," La Russa said.
Baby 'Birds: Triple-A Memphis was shut out by New Orleans, 4-0, on Saturday. Despite a quality outing, starter Mike Smith took the loss, falling to 6-7 on the season. Smith went seven innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and striking out eight. Joe Mather had his first multi-hit game since being moved up from Double-A. He went 2-for-4. ... Double-A Springfield lost to Tulsa, 9-2. Colby Rasmus hit his 13th home run of the season, a two-run shot in the first. Eric Haberer took the loss, going 5 2/3 innings and giving up four runs. ... Allen Craig continued his hot hitting, going 2-for-4 with an RBI, as Class A Palm Beach beat Fort Myers, 6-4. Craig is batting .321 on the season. Trey Hearne picked up the win in relief, tossing 2 1/3 scoreless innings. ... Class A Quad Cities lost to Wisconsin, 5-2. Jared Schweitzer had the only multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Blake King fell to 2-3 on the season after he gave up four runs in four innings.
Short-season Batavia lost to Mahoning Valley, 6-5. Third baseman Brian Cartie went 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Josh Fritsche only went two innings and gave up two earned runs, taking the loss. ... Ateo Folli went 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs, but rookie-level Johnson City lost, 6-5, to Bluefield. ... The Gulf Coast League Cardinals lost, 6-4, to the Dodgers. Starter Rigoberto Lugo gave up six runs in 3 2/3 innings for his first decision of the year and is now 0-1. Joseph Hage had two hits including a leadoff homer in the first. ... The Venezuelan Summer League Cardinals beat the VSL Devil Rays/Reds, 9-8. Third baseman Kleininger Teran went 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs. Orlando Munoz picked up the win in relief, his first of the season.
Coming up: The Cards travel to New York to start a four-game series against the Mets on Monday. Maroth will make his Cardinals debut, while former Cardinal Jorge Sosa will take the mound for the Mets. First pitch is set for 6:10 p.m. CT.