Glaus active but likely bit player

ST. LOUIS -- Troy Glaus was a big bat in the St. Louis Cardinals' lineup last season. In the final month of 2009, he's likely to be a seldom used spare part.

Glaus was activated from the 60-day disabled list Monday after finally being deemed ready to play following shoulder surgery in January. The Cardinals long ago moved on without Glaus, who had 27 homers and 99 RBIs last year, and he had zero stats with the clock ticking down on 2009 and free agency awaiting.

In his first at-bat of the season, Glaus struck out as a pinch hitter against Chris Smith to end the sixth.

Mark DeRosa took over at third base Glaus' old position after being acquired from the Indians in late June. Khalil Greene also worked there during his rehab stints for social anxiety disorder.

Plus the Cardinals are driving for an NL Central title, and perhaps the best record in the NL, and manager Tony La Russa doesn't want to disrupt their second-half charge. La Russa said he made it clear to the 33-year-old Glaus that he'd be emphasizing the team in the final month.

"He's coming in at a difficult time," La Russa said Tuesday. "We've played five months without him. I can't guarantee him playing time: Just be ready and if you get a call do the best you can."

In addition to shoulder woes, Glaus' rehab was elongated by a bulging disk in his back. The original forecast called for Glaus to be at full strength in May. La Russa said there was no urgency to try to get Glaus up to speed in time for the postseason, and he hasn't been in the lineup either of two games since his belated arrival.

"I mean, how do you do that?" La Russa said. "How is it possible to do that? So, who doesn't play?"

Glaus wasn't impressive at Triple-A Memphis, either, batting .216 in 51 at-bats with three homers, eight RBIs and 17 strikeouts. The Cardinals weren't sure he could make the throws from third until watching him work out on Tuesday.

Glaus said there's still some pain in the shoulder but insisted he would not be a defensive liability. He was willing to do whatever the Cardinals needed, and was on the on-deck circle preparing to pinch hit when the last out of the eighth inning was made on Tuesday.

"I want to play and I want to help this team any way I can," Glaus said. "I don't know what that's going to be, and I think we'll all find out in the weeks to come."

If it's pinch hitting, said Glaus will do his best to make the adjustments.

"That's all there is to it," he said. "If they call my name I've got to try to be successful."