Still no timetable for Fowler's return

Still no timetable for Fowler's return

ST. LOUIS -- A timetable for Dexter Fowler's return remains undetermined, as the center fielder continues to deal with swelling in his left knee from the collision he had with the outfield wall trying to make a catch on Saturday. That means his status for a critical weekend series at Wrigley Field remains questionable.

"There's still swelling in there," Fowler said on Tuesday. "When that goes, then it will be fast. We're going to let nature take its course."

With Fowler sidelined, the Cardinals fortified their outfield depth by recalling Magneuris Sierra from Triple-A on Tuesday.

Sierra's return gives the Cardinals not only another center field option, but also an enticing pinch-running option off the bench. The Cardinals were especially interested in adding another speedster given that Harrison Bader is expected to start regularly during Fowler's absence.

Sierra is rated as the Cardinals' No. 6 prospect, according to

Medical report
Adam Wainwright (right elbow impingement) and Jedd Gyorko (right hamstring strain) both took steps forward in their rehab work on Tuesday.

Wainwright threw his first bullpen session since being placed on the disabled list on Aug. 18. The Cardinals, who haven't determined what role Wainwright would return to when healthy, will schedule another bullpen session for him later this week if he recovers well from this test.

Gyorko's hamstring responded well to running out of the batters' box and running the bases Tuesday. General manager Michael Girsch said the club is optimistic that Gyorko will be cleared to at least pinch-hit sometime this week.

Innings cap for Flaherty?
On the eve of Jack Flaherty's third Major League start, Girsch stressed that the Cardinals do not have a "black-and-white innings limit" for the 21-year-old right-hander.

With 157 2/3 innings thrown across three levels this season, Flaherty has already surpassed his 2016 total of 134 innings. Previous to his arrival in St. Louis, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak estimated that a 10-20 percent increase in innings from last season to this season would be the range in which the Cardinals would be comfortable.

But now that threshold seems to be less defined.

"The good thing about the way Jack has pitched this year is he's thrown a lot of innings without facing a lot of batters or throwing a ton of pitches because he's been so effective," Girsch said. "We don't have a date or a number in mind. We're just going to keep an eye on the guy."

In his two starts for the Cardinals, Flaherty has allowed six runs on 11 hits in nine innings. He gets the nod on Wednesday against the Reds.

Worth noting
• Due to inclement weather, the start of Triple-A Memphis' Pacific Coast League Championship series against El Paso has been pushed back to Wednesday. Memphis will host the first two games of the best-of-five series.

• When Memphis' season ends, the Cardinals plan to recall a few players to serve as additional reinforcements on the roster. Girsch noted that those future callups will likely be players already on the 40-man roster.

• Since Sierra's promotion left Memphis with a roster spot to fill, the Cardinals optioned infielder Breyvic Valera to Triple-A. Valera went 1-for-5 after making his Major League debut on Sept. 5.

• Girsch confirmed that the Cardinals' complex in Jupiter, Fla., did not sustain any serious damage from Hurricane Irma. The club did evacuate its employees ahead of the storm.

• Wainwright was selected by his teammates as the Cardinals' nominee for the 2017 Marvin Miller Man of the Year award, which goes to a player whose on-field performance and contributions to his community inspire others. Online voting is open from now through Sunday, after which the six division finalists will appear on a ballot to be distributed to all MLB players.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.