ST. LOUIS -- With the Cardinals' decision not to hold a workout at Busch Stadium on Thursday, Allen Craig will wait until Friday to face live pitching for the first time since suffering a left foot injury on Sept. 4.
Manager Mike Matheny said that Craig will take swings off rehabbing lefty Jaime Garcia and other pitchers not on the team's postseason roster on Friday afternoon. Sam Freeman, Tyler Lyons and Jake Westbrook are among the non-roster pitchers who have continued to travel with the club this month and would be available to throw to Craig.
During the Cardinals' recent stay in Los Angeles, Craig participated in coach-pitch batting practice and tested his foot through mobility exercises. With Craig's health having improved, the Cardinals hope their first baseman can quickly regain his timing. The organization anticipates having Craig cleared to join the World Series roster if St. Louis -- up three games to two in the National League Championship Series -- can get past the Dodgers. Game 6 of the NLCS is on Friday (7:30 p.m. CT on TBS).
Thursday marked the first postseason off-day in which the Cardinals did not gather at the field for a brief workout. Speaking to reporters on a conference call, Matheny said he made the decision to have players stay home, believing that it could help them recover after traveling back to St. Louis late on Wednesday.
"[I] just really felt like today would be a good day for guys to shut down and stay away from the yard," Matheny said. "We've spent a lot of time together. We've spent a lot of time at the field, and a day like this hopefully will be something that the guys have a little extra rejuvenation from.
"These guys aren't going to forget how to hit and forget how to throw in one day's time. I think a day to shut down, kind of digest yesterday and the day before and the day before that, and kind of go through their minds that these are adjustments that we need to make in order to make a good two-game push here."
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.