Berkman among those to accompany Cards to Atlanta

Berkman among those to accompany Cards to Atlanta

ATLANTA -- The Cardinals' traveling party of players was much greater than the 25 that will be on the Wild Card roster on Friday. That's by design.

Those who are still recovering from injury -- Kyle McClellan, Rafael Furcal, Lance Berkman and Jake Westbrook -- all made the trip to Atlanta. McClellan and Furcal, both of whom have been sidelined by right elbow injuries, will not be able to help the club this postseason. Westbrook and Berkman are unlikely to, as well, though their potential participation has not yet been ruled out.

Before his teammates took batting practice on Thursday afternoon, Westbrook played catch on the Turner Field outfield grass. It's an early step in his second attempted return from a right oblique strain, but Westbrook could build himself back to be considered for a bullpen job if the Cardinals play deep into the month.

Berkman, who was sent to the plate in a ceremonial pinch-hit appearance on Thursday, is still battling soreness in his right knee. If he can get to the point where he can be an asset off the bench, Berkman could work his way onto a roster in a later postseason round. Still, his return remains unlikely.

Other players who accompanied the team but who are not going to be on the roster include starting pitchers Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter and Jaime Garcia. None are needed in a one-game scenario, though they will be allowed to join their teammates in the dugout for Friday's game.

A day after throwing 72 pitches in his first Major League start, Shelby Miller was also at Turner Field. He could be considered for a bullpen spot later in the postseason but was not under consideration to be on the Wild Card roster because of Wednesday's workload.