KANSAS CITY -- Admitting that he didn't expect his Minor League rehab assignment to be wrapped up quite this quickly, Jon Jay rejoined the Cardinals on Friday after being activated off the 15-day disabled list and inserted into the lineup against the Royals.
Though Jay last played on May 14, the Cardinals received enough encouraging reports about Jay's timing at the plate to feel comfortable reinstating him after only seven Minor League at-bats. Jay recorded three hits -- including a triple and a home run -- in those two games.
It was only a week ago that Jay even began to hit off soft toss.
"I just feel like I've been keeping my mind sharp," said Jay, who was sidelined by a sprained right shoulder. "I've been watching film and paying attention. I knew once I started to feel good that I would be able to come back."
Jay was asked if his shoulder is back to feeling 100 percent.
"I'm feeling good. That's the bottom line," he said. "I'm feeling good enough to where I can contribute."
Jay played center and hit second in his return. Manager Mike Matheny has been looking for a way to spark more production from the top of the lineup, and the hope is that Jay's presence will contribute to that. Jay was batting .343 at the time he went down and he had scored 18 runs in 27 games.
"We miss him and the kind of at-bats he was putting together," Matheny said. "We caught some grief from people about him just playing small ball and every time [Rafael Furcal] getting on, moving him over with a drag [bunt]. But I think we saw that that was a big part of our success, being able to strike early by him just doing the little things right."