Gyorko comes off DL ready for hitting duty

Cardinals third baseman will take it slow with baserunning

Gyorko comes off DL ready for hitting duty

ST. LOUIS -- Though he was activated from the 10-day disabled list prior to Wednesday night's 6-0 loss to the Reds, Cardinals third baseman Jedd Gyorko will remain limited in his availability as he continues his recovery from a right hamstring strain.

Gyorko has received clearance to hit, and, according to manager Mike Matheny, will be an option for pinch-hitting duty. Gyorko tested his hamstring running out of the batters' box and down the line on Tuesday and Wednesday to ensure that he'd be able to get to first base on a ball put in play.

If Gyorko does reach base, he'll be replaced by a pinch-runner.

"That's part of the reason why it's taken so long to get to where I am right now -- I don't want to go out there and hurt myself again, and also hurt the team," said Gyorko, who has been sidelined since Aug. 27. "We're all comfortable that I can pinch-hit and do that effectively."

It will be a while longer before the Cardinals are comfortable allowing Gyorko to run aggressively around the bases. He hasn't done an extensive amount of cutting and turning in his baserunning work thus far.

As for playing the field, Gyorko did, for the first time since sustaining the injury, field ground balls at third base on Wednesday. That work will continue at least through the weekend series in Chicago as he tries to get back to full strength.

"It's always tough, especially at this time of year because the playoffs are in sight and we're right there," Gyorko said of trying to remain patient during the rehab process. "You want to be able to help the team. It's tough not being able to. But guys will pick up the slack and have done a great job."

Worth noting
• The pitching matchups for this weekend's series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field have been set and will be as follows: Carlos Martinez vs. John Lackey on Friday; Michael Wacha vs. Kyle Hendricks on Saturday; and Lance Lynn vs. Jose Quintana on Sunday.

• According to Matheny, Adam Wainwright responded well following the right-hander's bullpen session on Tuesday. Wainwright is expected to throw off the mound again on Thursday as he inches closer to returning from a right elbow impingement.

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.