ST. LOUIS -- Before the Cardinals' 9-1 win over the Pirates on Sunday, it appeared Tyler Greene would be optioned to Triple-A Memphis to make room on the active roster for newly acquired starting pitcher Jake Westbrook.
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa expressed disappointment with a lack of communication from Greene, whom La Russa said contacted his agent for help after finding out he was being sent back to the Minors.
"That was upsetting," La Russa said after the game. "I actually told him last night, 'Coming to the park, there is a chance you will play.' You know, I wasn't sure if I would play Felipe [Lopez] or who would be at second base. 'So come to the park ready to play.' 'OK' [Greene said].
"We had a long meeting to discuss it," La Russa continued. "It took us a while to figure, because it is a complicated thing, and it went against him. Next thing we know, I guess he called his agent, the agent called [general manager John Mozeliak] and says he has a bad wrist. [Greene] said -- the quote I got -- was he didn't want to make a lot of it with the trainers because he didn't want to get sent down. Well, I mean, that is not really fair."
Greene said the wrist wasn't healing like he thought it would, and hitting was becoming increasingly difficult.
The Cardinals have already had one infielder, David Freese, try to play through an injury that got worse instead of better. Freese is starting a rehab assignment Monday after missing July.
"It was something I was trying to play through," Greene said. "It stayed the same, it didn't get much better. Playing is going to aggravate it more, so we decided to shut it down, see what is going on and give it some rest to get back to 100 percent."
When asked if in hindsight he would change the way he handled the situation, Greene was non-committal.
"I mean, yeah, I would probably say something right away. But it was something that was there, that wasn't 100 percent and was I playing hoping it would just get better with time."
Green is hitting .269 with a .359 on-base percentage and .412 slugging percentage this season in the Majors while filling in at third base, shortstop and second defensively.
Westbrook ready to get going with Cards
ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals newly acquired starter Jake Westbrook went to one word early and often Sunday in his first interviews with the local media: Excited.
Westbrook is excited for his first chance to pitch for the Cards in front of their fans Monday. He is excited the Redbirds coveted him so much they were willing to part with slugger Ryan Ludwick. He is especially excited about the opportunity to work with pitching coach Dave Duncan.
And yes, he is excited to go from the American League Central's struggling Indians to the National League Central-leading Cardinals.
"That is the exciting part," Westbrook said. "Pitching in games that actually mean something. You can get out there and competing to make the playoffs is what it is all about, that is why you play the game."
Coming off 2008 Tommy John surgery, Westbrook has had his share of inconsistencies this season, joining St. Louis with a 4.65 ERA and 1.386 WHIP in 21 starts.
Westbrook is hoping Duncan will be able to work the same magic that has given so many starters career years after coming to the Redbirds.
"I have heard so many good things about what he brings to each pitcher and how he helps guys out, so I am looking forward to working with him and seeing what he has for me," Westbrook said.
"I have heard I am the type of pitcher he works well with, and I am excited about that. In this game, you are always trying to get better, and any time you have a guy that can help you out like that, that is what I am excited about."
Freese set to start rehab assignment
ST. LOUIS -- With one of their key bats in Ryan Ludwick sent off in trade Saturday, the Cardinals are close to returning another key contributor from the season's first half off the disabled list. David Freese passed his final test Sunday morning -- running the bases -- and will be sent to Double-A Springfield on a rehab assignment Monday.
The third baseman said he is beyond excited to finally get back on the field.
"I am ready to rock," Freese said.
Freese went on the 15-day disabled list in late June after a bone bruise in his right ankle was slow to heal. Freese tried to play through the injury, but may have worsened its effects, causing the club to be cautious this time around.
Although he said no concrete timetable has been set, Freese believes he will rehab for around a week before returning to the Cardinals.
"We took the [rehab] pretty seriously this time," Freese said. "They are probably not even listening to me too much. They will watch me and make a decision, and I showed them today that I am ready to go."
"[They're] talking about a little less then a week. ... When I come [back] up here, all cylinders have to be running."
Freese has hit .296 with four homers and 36 RBIs this season.
Lohse feels good after latest rehab work
ST. LOUIS -- Although Kyle Lohse got tagged for three home runs in a four-inning start Saturday night with Triple-A Memphis, the Cardinals right-hander was satisfied with his performance in his second rehab game.
Lohse threw 61 pitches, didn't walk any and struck out two batters. He estimated 40 went for strikes.
"The arm felt good and it came out feeling as I wanted it to," Lohse said.
"I was looking to throw quality pitches, stay strong throughout the whole outing. I did that."
Lohse did give up two home runs to Royals top prospect Mike Moustakas, but the right-hander wasn't concerned with the results. Lohse said Moustakas second home run came on a low fastball "that was way in off the plate."
"I must have faced the best hitter ever," Lohse joked.
Michael Bleach is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.