Freese expects to return to starting lineup Tuesday

Freese expects to return to starting lineup Tuesday

PITTSBURGH -- David Freese's bruised left wrist gave him no issues as he took swings in the PNC Park batting cages on Monday afternoon. As a result, the third baseman expects to return to the Cardinals' starting lineup on Tuesday.

Freese did not appear in the club's games in Cincinnati on Saturday and Sunday after taking a pitch and a grounder off his wrist late in Friday's game. The X-rays Freese took over the weekend showed no fracture, and Monday's batting-practice session was further confirmation that Freese feels strong enough to return.

"I'm good," Freese said. "Actually, I thought I'd be in there today."

Manager Mike Matheny admitted that keeping Freese out on Monday was likely an overcautious move. But the decision to play it safe was made easier by the fact that Freese's replacement, Matt Carpenter, has three hits in five previous at-bats against Pirates starter A.J. Burnett.

Freese did end up making a pinch-hit appearance and struck out in the eighth.