SAN DIEGO -- Throwing off the mound for the first time in two weeks, Cardinals right-hander Jake Westbrook had to end the session after 20 pitches Wednesday due to discomfort in his right elbow.
It was a development that Westbrook described as "disappointing," and it puts his status in indefinite limbo. Manager Mike Matheny said that it was "too early" to know what Westbrook's next step will be.
"It just didn't feel like I would have liked for it to," Westbrook said. "It's not comfortable. It's definitely not where I want to be. But we'll figure out another course of action."
Westbrook had been methodically building his arm back up after a cortisone shot was administered on Thursday to help break up scar tissue around his elbow. He resumed throwing on flat ground on Sunday, repeated that work on Monday and Tuesday, and had hoped that Wednesday would put him a step closer to returning to the St. Louis rotation, potentially as early as next week.
But Westbrook said he could feel almost immediately that something was not right with his arm. He continued throwing to see if the discomfort would go away before determining that he needed to stop.
On a day that the Cardinals learned that Jaime Garcia would need season-ending surgery, this setback in Westbrook's throwing program throws the rotation into additional flux.
Matheny declined to say whether the organization is considering a change of course with how it plans to fill these open spots in the rotation. Options include summoning pitching prospect Michael Wacha or sending someone out of the current bullpen -- namely Joe Kelly or Carlos Martinez -- to begin building back up as a starter.
"We have to watch and see what happens," Matheny said. "It's hard to say right now."
Salas lands on disabled list with shoulder injury
SAN DIEGO -- The Cardinals placed right-hander Fernando Salas on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation on Wednesday. The move freed up a spot on the 25-man roster for lefty Tyler Lyons, who was added to start the series finale with the Padres.
Salas alerted the Cardinals' medical staff to his shoulder discomfort prior to Tuesday's game. His shoulder tested weak during followup exercises, which prompted the Cardinals to fly Salas back to St. Louis on Wednesday. Manager Mike Matheny said that Salas is scheduled to visit head team physician George Paletta on Thursday.
Salas gave no indication that his shoulder was bothering him after pitching on Monday, though he did express some confusion after that outing as to why his pitches did not have their usual finish on them. Salas suffered a blown save in that appearance, as he allowed two inherited runners to score.
In 15 relief appearances this season, Salas has given up seven earned runs on 15 hits and three walks in 16 1/3 innings. Opponents have hit .242 off him, and he's allowed five of 13 inherited runners to score.
Despite Salas' unavailability until at least June 5, the Cardinals have a seven-man bullpen. Mitchell Boggs had given the club an extra reliever since he was recalled from Triple-A Memphis on Sunday.
• Daniel Descalso's five-RBI night on Tuesday earned him a second straight start on Wednesday. Manager Mike Matheny sat David Freese for a third straight day. Freese said his right hand -- which required three stitches near his thumb on Sunday -- is giving him no problems.
• The Cardinals are featured on the cover of this week's edition of Sports Illustrated. The cover story highlights the early-season success of the Cards' starting rotation and an organizational philosophy that has led to long-standing consistency. The cover shot -- featuring Adam Wainwright, Shelby Miller, Jaime Garcia, Lance Lynn and Jake Westbrook -- was inspired by a 1968 SI cover that pictured Cardinals' Roger Maris, Tim McCarver, Bob Gibson, Mike Shannon and Lou Brock.
• Right-hander Scott McGregor was promoted from Double-A Springfield and made his Triple-A debut on Wednesday. He took the rotation spot that Lyons had filled before joining the Cardinals. In eight Double-A starts, McGregor went 4-1 with a 2.44 ERA. Opponents were hitting .233 off him. At the time of the promotion, McGregor led all Cardinals farmhands with 48 strikeouts in 48 innings.
• The Cardinals announced on Wednesday that discounted tickets for the Cardinals' upcoming series against the D-backs (June 3-6) are on sale as part of the organization's "Cards Win, You Save" promotion. A select number of tickets for seats in the right- and left-field pavilion, right- and left-field loge and right-field terrace have been reduced from $19 to $4. These discounted tickets are limited and can be purchased at cardinals.com/win.
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.