Eckstein out through break: Manager Tony La Russa said on Tuesday that David Eckstein will be out through the All-Star break. The Cardinals had hoped to have Eckstein back as early as this past weekend, but the shortstop still is not ready to return to action. According to La Russa, Eckstein underwent three injections on Monday to combat the back troubles that have bothered him.
"We're looking for sure at after the break," La Russa said. "No reason to rush him back."
Spiezio to the DL? The longer the Cardinals play without Scott Spiezio, who is sidelined with an infected finger, the more they consider placing the utility man on the disabled list. Spiezio, who hasn't played since Tuesday, June 26, in New York, could be eligible to come off the DL on the first day after the All-Star break.
"We discussed it," La Russa said. "If we are going to play without him for [another] week, we probably should do something."
Among the candidates for a callup in the interim would be second baseman Edgar Gonzalez, who has hit around .300 all year for Triple-A Memphis, and veteran utility player Jolbert Cabrera, who has recently returned from injury.
Mulder back on the mound: Mark Mulder's setback was a minor one, it turns out. Mulder missed about a week of throwing off a mound when he encountered some discomfort after a recent throw. However, he threw a bullpen session on Tuesday, as he had hoped to do. Mulder was prevented from throwing from a mound for slightly over a week. He is recuperating from September 2006 shoulder surgery.
Minor honors: The Cardinals named Tyler Herron their Minor League Pitcher of the Month for June, and Allen Craig was the Player of the Month. Herron went 5-0 with a save, a 2.27 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings at Class A Quad Cities. Craig hit .337 with seven home runs, 19 runs and 24 RBIs in June for Class A Palm Beach. Herron was also named the Midwest League's Pitcher of the Week for June 25-July 1.
This date in Cardinals history: On July 3, 1988, Tom Brunansky hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth to give the Cardinals a 5-4 win over the Padres at Jack Murphy Stadium. Todd Worrell, who had allowed two runs in the eighth to let San Diego take the lead, picked up the win in relief. Thanks to Project Retrosheet for the information.
Baby 'Birds: Tagg Bozied had two hits, including a home run, but Triple-A Memphis lost to New Orleans, 3-2, on Monday. ... Jarrett Hoffpauir stayed hot in Double-A Springfield's 8-3 loss to Frisco. Hoffpauir extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a two-run homer off heralded prospect Edinson Volquez. ... Palm Beach was rained out. ... Donovan Solano enjoyed his seventh multi-hit game since June 15, but Class A Quad Cities lost to Wisconsin, 9-6. Solano singled twice, drove in two runs and scored a run.
Jess Todd pitched four one-hit, shutout innings, but short-season Batavia couldn't support him in a 1-0 loss to State College. ... Arnoldi Cruz homered, doubled and singled in rookie-level Johnson City's 4-3 loss to Kingsport. ... The Dominican Summer League Cardinals lost to the DSL Athletics2, 4-1. ... Osvaldo Morales hit two home runs to help pace the Gulf Coast League Cardinals past the GCL Mets, 8-6. ... The Venezuelan Summer League Cardinals were rained out.
Morales, the third baseman for the GCL Cards, is the player of the day. He doubled to go with his two long balls, driving in four runs and scoring three times. Morales signed with the Cardinals as a non-drafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2006. He's batting .314 and slugging .629 thus far in the GCL.
Coming up: Brad Thompson gets the ball for the Cardinals on Independence Day, facing Livan Hernandez for the Diamondbacks. Please note that the scheduled first pitch for the holiday game is at 6:15 p.m. CT.