ST. LOUIS -- Even when Khalil Greene homered in his first three games after going on the 15-day disabled list with social anxiety disorder, St. Louis manager Tony La Russa held off celebrating.
"When he had success in Kansas City, that wasn't really the test," La Russa said. "The test is when you struggle and how you handle it."
Greene scuffled the next five games, going 1 for 17 with five strikeouts, and the anxiety resurfaced. The Cardinals placed him on the DL for a second time on Monday.
"We just felt it was a move we had to make to get him away from it again," La Russa said.
General manager John Mozeliak said Greene would not be with the team for perhaps two weeks.
"We're just going to give him a little time to figure out what's best," Mozeliak said. "We have to be patient."
The Cardinals purchased the contract of 24-year-old righty Clayton Mortensen from Triple-A Memphis. That move restores pitching staff to 13 after one day with a dozen following the acquisition of Mark DeRosa from the Indians.
Greene, acquired in the offseason from the Padres, is batting .200 with five home runs and 19 RBIs. His eight errors are one off the team high despite playing in only 47 games. He was activated from the DL on June 18 after missing 19 games.
La Russa didn't want to comment much on Greene's woes. Greene broke his left hand last July, ending his season prematurely, after he punched a wall near the dugout.
"It's delicate enough to where I think it's really not in good taste to talk about it," the manager said. "It's personal and it involves his profession but I'm not going to get into it.
"I don't think that does anybody any good."
La Russa did say that Greene was in agreement, adding, "He knows we're doing it in his best interests."
Mortensen is the 14th rookie with the Cardinals this season, and would be the eighth to make his major league debut. He was a supplemental first-round pick of the Cardinals in 2007 and is 7-4 with a 4.24 ERA at Memphis with 64 strikeouts in 85 innings.
His win total was second best in the Pacific Coast League and he was a good choice for the callup given this was his day to start.
"I always like when a young guy with talent can get his feet wet in the big leagues," La Russa said. "I told him don't get distracted by how long he stays here, just take every day and learn from it."
C Yadier Molina was out of the lineup for the second straight day with soreness from a home plate collision. La Russa said Molina was improved from Sunday, when he was unable to squat, and planned on having him in the lineup on Tuesday. ... Brendan Ryan started at SS after missing the three-game weekend series against the Twins following a cortisone shot for a sore right wrist. ... DeRosa batted second and played 3B in his second game with the Cardinals. He batted cleanup and played LF in his St. Louis debut.