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.''
Advertisement

Top MLB Public Bets

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail White Sox vs. Cubs Prediction Will the Cubs earn a split against the White Sox when the cross-town rivals meet again tonight at 8:05PM ET?
Thumbnail Fernandez, Fish welcome Cards to town Between Dee Gordon’s return to the Miami lineup and Ichiro Suzuki’s pursuit of hit No. 3,000, St. Louis righty Michael Wacha promises to have his hands full...
Thumbnail Rockies vs. Mets Predictions With the total sitting at 7 runs, will the Rockies and Mets play under the number when the meet at 1:10PM ET?
Thumbnail Tanaka's Yanks take aim at sweep of Stros On Monday, the Yankees shipped pending free agent Aroldis Chapman to the National League. Yet, don’t be surprised if their rollicking performance of late tables...
Thumbnail Cubs-White Sox standoff moves to Wrigleyville The Cubs and their fans couldn’t wait to get Aroldis Chapman into yesterday’s action. Yet, a no-show on offense prevented the squad’s new closer from even...
More inMLB Articles  

MLB Team Pages