ST. LOUIS -- Barring any sort of setback, the Cardinals are planning to have first baseman Matt Adams begin a Minor League rehab assignment with Double-A Springfield on Friday.
Adams, who has been sidelined with a strained right oblique, can come off the 15-day disabled list as early as next Tuesday, the first day of the road series in Chicago. Before activating him, though, the club wants him to get some playing time in the Minors.
Adams has been throwing and fielding ground balls since Saturday, and he's slowly adding swings to his pregame regimen. It was the discomfort that Adams felt when swinging last week that prompted the Cardinals to move him to the DL. That tightness is no longer there.
"Everything he's doing, he's getting pretty good responses," Matheny said. "So it looks like he'll try to play some games later in the week, and we'll see how he looks through the weekend and have him possibly for Tuesday."
Adams opened the season 13-for-24 with three homers and eight RBIs before the injury.
Matheny holds cold Freese from lineup
ST. LOUIS -- Despite David Freese's insistence that working his way out of his slump will best be achieved by playing through it, the Cardinals will try to find a spark by going a different route.
Manager Mike Matheny pulled Freese out of the lineup on Tuesday and inferred that Freese may remain unplugged for a few days. Freese is hitless in his last 16 at-bats, has not hit a home run this year, and has a .163 average and .255 on-base percentage.
"We've tried to let him play through, and we've tried to let him match up in situations and matchups that look like they could be favorable for him, and he's not heading in a good direction," Matheny said. "At that point you need to say, 'OK, we're going to take a different perspective here, give him a little bit of time and see how he responds.'"
Matheny made a similar move with Jon Jay last week, removing the center fielder from the lineup for consecutive days in order to give him time to fix his swing in a setting where results didn't count. Since returning from that hiatus, Jay is 3-for-8, with three walks.
Freese had periodic days off this month but has not yet missed consecutive starts.
Freese retreated to the batting cage after Monday's loss for extra work and described himself afterward as feeling "terrible" at the plate. He said the slump has become so mentally draining, too, that he has found himself struggling to pick up pitches and find his timing.
Yet he is adamant that the best way to work through the struggles is to stay on the field.
"I don't want a day off," Freese said. "Mike knows -- I fight him every time. It's more mental now. It's going back to the basics and just putting the barrel [on the ball]. A lot of guys have said over the years that if you find the barrel, you find your swing. That's what we're looking for. But you can't try to do too much, or you're going to go in a tailspin."
Freese reiterated that he is not battling any physical ailment. Back pain, which slowed him during Spring Training, has not resurfaced since he came off the disabled list on April 8.
"Right now he's just not seeing the ball, and when that happens, it's hard to go in there and get work and then come out here in game speed and try to take the thing that you have been working on and putting it into action," Matheny said. "He just needs some time to physically just work -- work on his swing -- and mentally just gather his thoughts and try to get himself in a better spot. We'll see how it plays out."
Motte ups the intensity of his throwing sessions
ST. LOUIS -- Jason Motte increased the intensity of his throwing on Tuesday, four days after he resumed playing catch to test the durability of his right elbow.
Motte estimated that he made 25 throws from about 60 feet before throwing 10 more times at a 90-foot distance. He said the elbow responded well to the session.
Motte was diagnosed with a ligament tear in the elbow earlier in April, at which time general manager John Mozeliak said the organization would make a decision around May 1 whether season-ending Tommy John surgery is needed. Motte's ability to resume throwing from flat ground during this homestand has subsequently delayed that decision.
"I'm in no way worried about anything," Motte said after Tuesday's session. "I don't know if that's a good or bad way to be, but I'm in no way worried about it. I'm perfectly at peace with whatever happens. If I end up having surgery tomorrow, then I have surgery tomorrow. If I don't have to have it at all, that would be great. It's going to happen just the way it's supposed to happen. I'm doing what I can do to get the arm in shape, doing my rehab stuff, doing my throwing stuff with the intensity that we've talked about doing it in."
In addition to throwing with more exertion, Motte is throwing without the constant concern that the next throw could push his elbow back to a bad place.
"I think today we were at the point where you have to have faith in it," he said. "It's either going to feel great or it's not. The way today went, the way the past couple of weeks went, we have a positive attitude."
• The April 16 game that was rained out in Pittsburgh has been rescheduled for July 30. The Cardinals will play a doubleheader at PNC Park that day, with the first game beginning at 3:05 p.m. CT.
• Manager Mike Matheny has resumed throwing batting practice after a hiatus of several weeks while he recovered from surgery on his back.
• Right-hander Michael Wacha (3-0) allowed one run on five hits in six innings for Triple-A Memphis but did not factor in the decision. In his first month at the Triple-A level, he has held opponents to a .184 average.
• Carlos Martinez, who opened the season ranked by MLB.com as the Cardinals' third-best prospect, gave up one run on three hits in five innings for Double-A Springfield on Monday. Martinez, who struck out five and walked one, has now made three starts for Springfield. The start of his season was delayed due to the visa problems that caused him to miss Spring Training.
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.