PITTSBURGH -- Though he has still not been cleared to swing a bat, Cardinals catcher Tony Cruz has been activated from the 15-day disabled list so that he can serve as emergency protection behind the plate.
Cruz was eligible to come off the DL on Friday, but the Cardinals waited until rosters expanded on Sunday to make the paper move. That kept the club from having to create roster space by sending someone out.
Cruz, who has been sidelined with a left forearm fracture, said that he can feel improvement, even though his baseball activities have been limited to throwing. He hopes to have clearance to resume swinging a bat on Wednesday or Thursday. In the meantime, he'll only be used if the Cardinals get into a bind at the catcher position.
"We're going to move slow with it," manager Mike Matheny said. "In an emergency situation where we need someone to come behind the plate instead of throwing one of the position players back there, Tony is going to be available."
While Cruz continues to recover, Rob Johnson remains Yadier Molina's primary backup.
"My hope," Cruz said, "is that I can get back sooner rather than later."
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.