CHICAGO -- Power-hitting first baseman Matt Adams returned to the Cardinals' bench on Tuesday after a three-game rehab stint with Double-A Springfield (Mo.).
Adams stayed the minimum 15 days on the disabled list while recovering from a right oblique strain suffered while taking pregame swings on April 22. In order to clear space for Adams on the 25-man roster, the Cardinals optioned Jermaine Curtis to Triple-A.
"It's definitely good to have him back," manager Mike Matheny said. "I believe we addressed [the injury] before it got very bad, and he was able to keep in the rhythm of his good swing when he left. It's something to build on going forward, and we're excited to have him back."
Inclement weather condensed Adams' rehab assignment to three games, though he was still able to tally 12 at-bats. Rain limited Adams to the indoor batting cages on Thursday and Friday before he played three straight days beginning on Saturday. He finished with three hits and two RBIs.
"The timing is still coming around, but it got better each day," Adams said. "I'm feeling more comfortable at the plate, and I'm pain-free. That's good."
Adams was hitting .542 for the Cardinals with three homers and eight RBIs at the time of the setback, which was initially not expected to force him to the DL. The Cardinals decided, however, to change course and address the injury conservatively, an approach that Adams said helped give him peace of mind that his oblique was fully healed by the time he resumed game play over the weekend.
"Coming here and going back into my role on the bench, I know I'm going to be called upon in [big] situations, and you don't want to have anything in the back of your mind when you're back here swinging," Adams said. "You want to go out there and not think about anything at the plate and just know that things are feeling good and there is no pain in there."
Adams slots back into a bench role, though Matheny will again be deliberate in finding opportunities to give the first baseman periodic starts. How regular those starts will be was not something Matheny explicitly stated, as there's not seemingly much of a need to fix an offense that is not currently broken. The Cardinals enter this two-game series in Chicago having scored 29 runs in a four-game sweep of the Brewers.
"[Adams] is the kind of guy who can be in a reserve role, but I think he's a little more valuable than that, and we have to keep him sharp if we're going to use him in that capacity," Matheny said.
Motte's surgery deemed successful, necessary
CHICAGO -- Right-hander Jason Motte underwent Tommy John surgery on Tuesday, a procedure that became a necessity after Motte continued to feel right elbow discomfort during the early stages of a throwing program.
The surgery, which typically carries a recovery time of 12 months, was performed by Dr. George Paletta at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis. General manager John Mozeliak reported that Paletta was satisfied with the outcome of the procedure.
According to manager Mike Matheny, Paletta also confirmed that the ligament would never have properly healed without surgery. That was not something definitively known through reading the images of Motte's most recent MRI.
"There's always that little bit of doubt," Matheny said. "But it was the right thing. It's good to have that behind him, and now we can move forward."
Matheny said that Motte will do "a good bit" of his post-surgery rehab in St. Louis, which will allow him to remain a regular presence in the Cardinals' clubhouse. Motte, who signed a two-year, $12 million contract over the winter, went 47 days from the time he first felt elbow discomfort to undergoing season-ending surgery.
Boggs, Rzepczynski making progress in Minors
CHICAGO -- Recently demoted reliever Mitchell Boggs made his first appearance with Triple-A Memphis on Sunday. He worked around a hit to pitch a scoreless inning and struck out two in the outing.
Boggs was sent to Memphis after struggling yet again during a two-batter outing on Thursday. The Cardinals have instructed Memphis manager Ron "Pop" Warner to find regular opportunities for Boggs to pitch out of the Memphis 'pen.
The same directive was given regarding the use of Marc Rzepczynski, whose demotion preceded Boggs' by a few days. Since joining the Triple-A team, Rzepczynski has made three appearances. He gave up two runs in his first outing but has followed that up with 3 1/3 scoreless frames since.
"It sounds like they're getting some things going in a good direction," manager Mike Matheny said of the pair.
Some other items of note from the Cardinals' farm system:
• After opening the season with an 18-game stay at Class A Advanced Palm Beach, outfielder James Ramsey has been promoted to Double-A Springfield (Mo.). Ramsey, the No. 23 overall selection in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, hit .361 with eight extra-base hits at Palm Beach.
• First baseman Xavier Scruggs was named the Texas League Player of the Week (April 29 - May 5) after going 7-for-13 with four homers, 10 RBIs and five runs scored during that weeklong stretch. He currently ranks second in the Texas League in home runs (nine) and third with 22 RBIs.
• Right-hander Tyrell Jenkins, ranked by MLB.com as the organization's fifth-best prospect, received Midwest League Pitcher of the Week honors in recognition of the three-hit shutout Jenkins threw on Sunday. He walked one and struck out five in what was his first victory of the season.
• Eduardo Sanchez was activated from the Triple-A disabled list and made a two-thirds-inning appearance for Memphis on Monday. Sanchez allowed one run on two hits and a walk in the outing. Sanchez was placed on the DL in mid-April with an arm injury.
• The Cardinals announced that they will hold their 23rd annual Christian Day at the Ballpark on July 7. Willie Robertson, the Chief Executive Officer of Duck Commander and star of A&E's hit show Duck Dynasty, has been lined up as the keynote speaker for the postgame program. Robertson and other Cardinals players will share testimonies in faith following the club's game against the Marlins.
More information about the event can be found at cardinals.com/christianday.
• The Cardinals entered Tuesday riding a six-game winning streak, the longest such streak during Matheny's tenure as manager. The last time St. Louis had a winning streak of at least that length was from July 10-21, 2010, when the team reeled off eight straight victories.
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.