JUPITER, Fla. (AP) -Juan Gonzalez has a minor abdominal strain, slowing his attempt to return to the major leagues with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Manager Tony La Russa said Thursday he scratched 38-year-old Gonzalez from the lineup card a day earlier. Gonzalez, a two-time AL MVP who missed the last two years and had only one at-bat in 2005, said he was day to day and receiving treatment before and after games.
Trainer Barry Weinberg said Gonzalez should be ready to resume his comeback attempt soon.
``We just want to keep him from overdoing it for a day or so,'' Weinberg said. ``It's a short-term thing.''
Gonzalez felt a pull on his left side more than a week ago and has difficulty running. He has been able to take batting and fielding practice.
``I've seen progress and today I'm running a little bit better,'' Gonzalez said. ``I just continue working hard. It's nothing big.''
Gonzalez is hitting .308 in 26 at-bats with one home run and five RBIs. He signed a minor league contract with the Cardinals and is battling for an extra outfield job along with Brian Barton and Joe Mather.
``One of the things he's got to show is the durability for the role he has,'' La Russa said.
Barton was batting .370 with a homer, two triples and five RBIs and Mather was batting .333 with a homer and three RBIs. La Russa said Barton would add speed and can play all three outfield spots. Of the 25-year-old Mather, he said ``I haven't seen him do anything average yet.''
Mather hit 31 homers at the Double-A and Triple-A levels last year.
Gonzalez was noncommittal about whether he'd be willing to start the season at Triple-A Memphis.
``I'm here now,'' Gonzalez said. ``I don't want to talk about tomorrow, what happens then.''
A strong motivating factor in Gonzalez' comeback attempt is he's 66 home runs shy of 500.
``I'm here, I'm positive, I'm working hard inside and outside the lines, and have a good attitude,'' Gonzalez said. ``We'll see what happens.''

Recent MLB Discussions

Top MLB Public Bets

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Pirates Win Total Prediction After missing out on the playoffs last season, will the Pittsburgh Pirates get back to being a contender in the competitive NL...
Thumbnail Phillies Win Total Prediction Can the Philadelphia Phillies inch closer to the .500 mark in the 2017 season? Here’s our preview of the team’s season.
Thumbnail Yankees Win Total Prediction Lacking in name power like it used to have, will the New York Yankees find a way to scale the AL East standings this season?
Thumbnail Mets Win Total Prediction After a playoff appearance in 2016, will the New York Mets find a way to improve on what they did this season?
Thumbnail MLB Player Futures: Home Run Leader It seems like only yesterday that the Chicago Cubs shattered their 71-year curse by winning the World Series over the Cleveland Indians in thrilling Game 7...

MLB Team Pages