Skip Schumaker played in his first extended spring training game in Jupiter, Fla., on Thursday. He spent time at both second and in the outfield, while also taking some much needed at-bats. He noted that there have been no setbacks during his continued recovery from a right oblique strain.
Schumaker is scheduled to remain in St. Louis at least through Saturday, and he projected that he'd head out for a Minor League rehab stint in either Double-A or Triple-A immediately after. Of particular importance is getting at-bats, since Schumaker took only 21 in Grapefruit League play before getting injured.
"I don't want to come into this thing not feeling good and not able to help out," Schumaker said. "Selfishly you want to come back as fast as you can, but we have a really good situation here, and there's no reason to take someone's spot if I'm not going to help them out."
Scott Linebrink (right shoulder capsulitis) played catch from about a 75-80 foot distance on Friday. It marked the first time Linebrink has thrown since being placed on the disabled list. This is just the start of Linebrink's throwing program, though, which will likely include a Minor League rehab stint on the tail end.
Linebrink's last outing came on March 29, and he explained on Friday that he felt his shoulder lock up on him while facing the second of the six hitters he'd see in that outing. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list a few days later and is eligible to come off as soon as he is healthy.
"I'm sure this will be just a blip on the radar, and we'll just keep working through it, and in a few weeks this will all be behind us," Linebrink said. "[Today's throwing session] is progress, and you have to take progress as it comes."
After participating in Opening Day festivities in Miami on April 4, Allen Craig returned to St. Louis to continue physical therapy on his surgically repaired right knee. He said on Friday that he is likely to return to Florida on Sunday. The Cardinals would have the option of having Craig play in extended spring training or with the team's Class A club there in Jupiter.
"I've had no setbacks," Craig said. "Strength is getting there."
Schumaker, not Craig, is expected to be the first ready to come off the DL.