Fowler improving, but won't rush healing

Veteran outfielder taking treatment for injured shoulder

Fowler improving, but won't rush healing

MIAMI -- Dexter Fowler, one of three Cardinals outfielders to go down with an injury since Thursday, threw on the side prior to Monday's series opener at Marlins Park. Fowler has not been in the starting lineup since jamming his right shoulder diving for a fly ball on Thursday.

Fellow outfielders Jose Martinez (strained left groin) and Stephen Piscotty (strained right hamstring) are both on the 10-day DL.

Fowler continues to get treatment and was able to pinch-hit on Sunday in Atlanta. He said that although the shoulder is progressing, it isn't quite 100 percent just yet.

"When it gets better, it gets better," said Fowler, who did not start on Monday.

But manager Mike Matheny remains optimistic for a speedy return.

"He's making good strides," Matheny said. "He's excited about it. Hopefully, he'll be back ready tomorrow."

Fowler is hitting just .221 with four homers and nine RBIs in 104 at-bats this season after a sparkling 2016 campaign with the World Series-champion Cubs in which he hit .276 with 13 homers and 13 stolen bases.

"It's getting way better," Fowler said. "It's been getting better day by day. You don't want to rush anything, but at the same time, it's getting better. That's a good thing."

Magneuris Sierra started in Fowler's place on Sunday against the Braves and got his first Major League hit.

Sierra's first career hit

"It's awesome," Fowler said. "It's not easy to be in the big leagues. You see a guy like that, see how hard he works to get a chance to get a hit."

Fowler said that despite the injury, if he had it to do over again, he would make that same diving attempt.

Also on the injury front, third baseman Jhonny Peralta (injured left thumb) played in three rehab games over the weekend with Class A Advanced Palm Beach, just over an hour from Miami, and he may join the team during its three-game series at Marlins Park.

"We may see him [this series] since it's a short drive down here," Matheny said.

Minor matters

• Making his first start since undergoing Tommy John surgery in April 2016, left-hander Marco Gonzales threw six innings for Palm Beach on Sunday. He allowed one run on two hits, walked none and struck out seven. He threw 52 of his 73 pitches for strikes.

• Right-hander Luke Weaver threw seven scoreless innings for Triple-A Memphis on Sunday and has now twirled 13 scoreless innings since returning from a back injury. In his win on Sunday over the Iowa Cubs, he gave up four hits and struck out four.

• With its 10-1 win on Sunday, Memphis ran its winning streak to a franchise-record 10 games, eclipsing the previous high of nine set in 2000 and matched in 2014.

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com based in Florida. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.