Cards receive good news about Glaus
St. Louis plans to keep looking for options at third base
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals received "encouraging" news regarding injured third baseman Troy Glaus on Monday, but not so encouraging that they won't actively pursue a player to fill in for him.
General manager John Mozeliak said that Monday's teleconference regarding Glaus produced some positive developments, most notably that Glaus has been cleared to begin throwing and may begin swinging a bat next week. However, Mozeliak said that his level of optimism regarding Glaus, who underwent right shoulder surgery in January, has not increased. Mozeliak and the team's training staff had a conference call on Monday with Keith Kocher, the physical therapist who is supervising Glaus' rehabilitation in Arizona.
"It was encouraging news," Mozeliak said. "He's getting his strength back. He's been cleared to start his throwing program, which will progress into a hitting program probably in the next week or so. The timetable is still quite unknown. It's probably going to be somewhere between the All-Star Game and August 1 if he were to return."
After waiting two months for Glaus, though, the Cardinals don't intend to sit on their hands and wait until that hazy time frame of late July. Especially since the possibility does still exist that Glaus could hit more setbacks, and even that he might not play at all in 2009.
"Six weeks to eight weeks is still an unknown, and to operate under that isn't fair to the club," Mozeliak said. "We're going to continue to look, and probably ramp it up a little bit more in terms of intensity to see what we can do. I have noticed as the calendar changes to June that there has been more dialogue already with other clubs. There seems to be a chance that there might be some opportunities as we move forward."
Since the start of the season, the Cardinals have leaned on Brian Barden and Joe Thurston to man third base. While both have value as complementary players, both have struggled at the plate since the beginning of May. Thus, one priority is to find an offensive upgrade who can play third base.
The complication, of course, is that Glaus could yet return before the season ends. Thus, any addition would ideally be a player who could slide to another position if that were to happen. One player fitting that description who might be available is the Indians' Mark DeRosa.
"[The idea is] to add some offense that still gives you the flexibility, should he come back," Mozeliak said. "If he doesn't come back, you still have a viable solution, and if he does, then there's still other places that the player could play."
Mozeliak said that he has been cleared by Cardinals ownership at least to pursue additions that might have a noticeable impact on the club's payroll. He did not identify a particular limit to what the club might spend on a solution, though.
"In our situation, every case would be different," he said. "The acquisition costs are unknown at this time, so it's hard to say what that ceiling might be."
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.