Carpenter enjoys positive throwing session

Cards right-hander taking slow approach; Westbrook set for program

Carpenter enjoys positive throwing session

ST. LOUIS -- Chris Carpenter estimated that he threw about 25 to 30 pitches off the mound on Wednesday afternoon and said afterward that he felt "real good" about the result.

Carpenter was initially supposed to face hitters on Tuesday for the first time in his shoulder rehab, but chose to slow down his throwing program after experiencing some fatigue following a bullpen session last Thursday. As a result, he will continue to build up strength in his arm by throwing bullpen sessions for a while longer.

"I don't know if I was going too fast or if it was the so-called dead arm," said Carpenter, who has been on the disabled list with a right shoulder injury all season. "I want to get back and I want to pitch, but I also have to make sure I do it the right way, because if we do push it too fast or do something that affects the nerve or whatever is going on, it could be a setback that ends up not letting me pitch at all."

Carpenter was unsure when he would get on the mound next, though he's typically been throwing his side sessions two-or-three days apart.

Jake Westbrook will get a better feel for how close he is to leaving on a rehab assignment once he throws on Thursday. After throwing 40 pitches off the mound on Monday, Westbrook said he will throw a longer, more intense session this next time.

"My arm is feeling pretty good," Westbrook said, "so I'm excited about that."

Westbrook, who went on the DL on May 9 with right elbow inflammation, said that he expects he'll need at least two to three starts in the Minor Leagues before he'd be ready to return to the Major League rotation.

As for Fernando Salas (right shoulder inflammation), there is still no scheduled date as to when he will resume playing catch. Salas has not thrown since making a relief appearance on May 21. He has since had a cortisone shot to relieve inflammation.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. Chad Thornburg is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.