Thompson to start Thursday after Cards put Reyes on 15-day DL

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Cardinals placed Anthony Reyes on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right elbow Wednesday night, hours before he was to replace injured Todd Wellemeyer in the rotation.

Right-hander Brad Thompson, who had been set for a rehab appearance on Thursday night for Triple-A Memphis, instead will throw in the final game of a three-game series against the Royals. Thompson has been on the DL since April 23 with an elbow injury.

"I knew there was something there, but I didn't think it was serious," Reyes said. "I think it's more precautionary than anything.

"They don't want me starting a game knowing it's going to be in there in the back of my mind."

Reyes said earlier in the day that he was prepared to pitch despite elbow irritation that prompted a medical exam but his status was a question in manager Tony La Russa's mind, even though Reyes said he'd been told by team physician Dr. George Paletta that he was suffering from normal pitching wear and tear.

"I feel like I'm good enough, yeah," Reyes said. "I'll be fine."

La Russa said the doctor visit was enough of a red flag for him.

"He had some elbow soreness pitching at Triple-A and we didn't think it was a problem," La Russa said. "You never risk a pitcher."

Reyes is 2-1 with a 4.91 ERA in 10 relief appearances, gaining a victory with a scoreless inning on Sunday. He was 1-2 with a 3.28 ERA in seven starts for Triple-A Memphis before being recalled last weekend.

Long considered one of the team's best prospects, Reyes beat the Detroit Tigers in the 2006 World Series opener but was 2-14 with a 6.04 ERA last season. La Russa said he considers Reyes, 26, a developing pitcher.

Wellemeyer, 7-2 with a 3.67 ERA in his first full year as a starter, is skipping a turn for the second time this month. He has worked 83 1/3 innings over 14 starts after totaling 80 1/3 innings last year and said in his last start Friday he was unable to get full extension, resulting in a career-worst eight runs allowed in 3 1/3 innings.

Mark Mulder is scheduled for a rehab start on Thursday for Triple-A Memphis, coming off five scoreless innings in his previous outing for Double-A Springfield, and Thompson had been set to follow him in that game. Matt Clement (shoulder) is scheduled to pitch on Friday for Memphis.

Right-hander Chris Carpenter threw a bullpen session on Wednesday without issues and is scheduled to throw again on Friday with a simulated game on Monday perhaps with Class A Palm Beach. Carpenter resumed his comeback from reconstructive elbow surgery last July after meeting with team doctors and getting a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., earlier this week regarding elbow soreness.

Catcher Yadier Molina, who sustained a mild concussion in a home-plate collision with Phillies pinch runner Eric Bruntlett on Sunday, was out of the lineup for the second straight day and was likely to miss a third straight start in Thursday's day game, with backup
Jason LaRue starting all three.

"He's feeling better, but we'll try to hold him out," La Russa said of Molina.