JUPITER, Fla. -- The Cardinals announced on Friday that both Joel Pineiro and Matt Clement will pitch in Minor League games next week, bringing each pitcher closer to active Major League duty.
Pineiro threw an extensive bullpen session on Friday and will pitch in a Triple-A game on Monday. He expects to follow that outing by pitching on March 29 in the Cardinals' exhibition game against their Double-A Springfield affiliate.
"The main thing is just getting back out there," Pineiro said on Friday. "Today was a very intense bullpen. I thought I might get a chance to get in a game [Saturday]."
Pineiro is recovering from irritation in the lat muscle below his right shoulder. The question for him is less about how he feels during the game, and much more about how he recovers. He pitched in the Cardinals' March 7 game against the Dodgers and did well, but encountered discomfort in his side session two days later.
Clement, meanwhile, has been building slowly and steadily since limited arm strength led the club to alter his throwing program at the beginning of Spring Training. He threw extra long toss, then bullpen sessions, and he has thrown four live batting practice sessions. He's extremely eager to get into a game situation.
"My goal right now is to throw every fifth day, wherever they put me," he said. "If it's a rehab assignment, if it's down here on the A-ball team, whatever it is, isn't as important as me being able to continue to come back every fifth day and build my pitches."
Clement would almost certainly not accompany the Cardinals north. Rather, he will likely pitch on March 30 at the Roger Dean Stadium, on the last day of Minor League Spring Training. From there he would either participate in extended Spring Training or begin a rehabilitation assignment.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.