SAN FRANCISCO -- A day after taking four at-bats and playing seven innings at third base, David Freese informed the Cardinals that his back responded well to his first on-field test since March 22.
In response, the Cardinals plan to play Freese as the designated hitter in Saturday's Triple-A game. Manager Mike Matheny said that Freese was also expected to do some extra running before Saturday's game to put his back through that additional test.
If all that goes well, Freese will play a full game with Memphis on Sunday. This would be a first in 2013 for Freese, who was not able to play nine innings in a game all spring after injuring his back March 4.
Saturday's positive reports, coupled with the Cardinals' weekend plans for Freese, suggest that the third baseman will be able to come off the disabled list, as hoped, for Monday's home opener. Asked about that probability, Matheny said, "We'll see how things go."
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.