Craig's injury, most indispensable player on Cards

ST. LOUIS -- A re-evaluation of Allen Craig's sprained left foot on Thursday showed progress with the healing process, but it did not provide the Cardinals with any added clarity as to when they might get their first baseman back.

After shedding a walking boot several days ago, Craig received the recommendation to resume wearing it again. The doctor's suggestion, general manager John Mozeliak said, was out of precaution and not reason for additional concern.

"They just feel like he is still at a volatile state in the sense that as he's improving, they don't want him to have a setback by being in a tennis shoe or a running shoe," Mozeliak said. "So for the next week or so, he'll be in this soft boot."

The time frame for Craig's return remains fuzzy, though Mozeliak would not rule out the possibility of seeing Craig on the field before the end of the regular season. Obviously, the deeper the Cardinals play into October, the greater the chance that Craig will work his way back into the lineup. It has now been eight days since Craig sprained his foot making an awkward turn at first base.

"Everything is positive," Mozeliak said. "Obviously, when this injury occurred, we didn't know when we'd expect him back. We still don't know exactly. But we're still optimistic that he'll play this year. … He's feeling better. From a mental standpoint, he's in the right place. As he goes through this recovery, we'll see. We're just not in a place yet where we can truly push it. "

Cards without Molina, Rosenthal against Brewers

PIT@STL: Molina's blast continues Cards' barrage

ST. LOUIS -- Neither Yadier Molina nor Trevor Rosenthal were available Thursday night against the Brewers, both are away from the team for personal reasons.

Molina and his brother Bengie, a hitting coach for the Cardinals, were absent for a second day as their mother, Gladys, recovers from a surgical procedure she underwent at a local hospital. MDR Sports Management, which represents Yadier Molina, announced through Twitter that Gladys was in stable condition Wednesday night. Rays catcher Jose Molina was also away from his club to join his family in St. Louis.

Rosenthal, who tossed a scoreless eighth inning in Wednesday's 5-1 win over the Brewers, and his wife, Lindsey, are awaiting the arrival of their first child. Lindsey Rosenthal was induced into labor Wednesday night after the game, and, as of Thursday afternoon, she was still in labor, according to manager Mike Matheny.

The Cardinals are optimistic that all three will be back for Friday's game against the Mariners at Busch Stadium.

"That's more important," Matheny said. "Family comes first in both of the situations."

Top Draft picks highlight instructional league crop

Top Prospects: Marco Gonzales, LHP, Cardinals

ST. LOUIS -- The top three picks from the Cardinals' 2013 Draft class highlight the group of 38 Minor League players scheduled to participate in the organization's upcoming instructional league .

The Cardinals' instructional league begins on Sept. 20 and will run through Oct. 10 in Jupiter, Fla. Much of the time will be devoted to instruction, as several of the Minor League coaches and coordinators will be on hand to guide players through specific teaching points. Seven games against the Mets and Marlins have also been scheduled during the three-week period.

After enjoying a brief respite upon the conclusion of their Minor League seasons, Marco Gonzales (No. 19 overall), Rob Kaminsky (No. 28 overall) and Oscar Mercado (No. 57 overall) will all be attending their first instructional league . Other 2013 Draftees on the roster include Mason Katz (fourth round), Ian McKinney (fifth round), Malik Collymore (10th round) and Steven Farinaro (11th round).

Steve Bean, a compensation-round pick, and second-rounder Carson Kelly are among the representatives from the 2012 Draft. Three of the Cardinals' top four picks in 2011 -- Charlie Tilson, C.J. McElroy and Kenneth Peoples-Walls -- will also participate.

Oliver Marmol, who has led the organization's rookie-level club in State College to the championship series, will manage the instructional league games. Three of the organization's other Minor League managers -- Mike Shildt (Double-A), Dann Bilardello (low-A) and Joe Kruzel (rookie level) -- will be on the coaching staff.

Worth noting

• After falling, 5-4, to Tri-City on Wednesday night, the State College Spikes will meet the ValleyCats in a winner-take-all Game 3 for the New York-Penn League Championship on Thursday. State College, the Cardinals' short-season rookie league affiliate, will send Jimmy Reed out for the start.

• The Cardinals will wrap up Interleague Play with this weekend's series against the Mariners. It is the latest point in the regular season that the Cardinals have ever played an American League opponent. Seattle is scheduled to start Hisashi Iwakuma (12-6, 2.97 ERA) on Friday, James Paxton (1-0, 1.50 ERA) on Saturday and Erasmo Ramirez (5-1, 4.57 EA) in the series finale.

The Cardinals enter the series 8-9 against the AL this year.

Tyler Lyons was charged with three additional earned runs in his Aug. 26 start after Major League Baseball overruled a called error in the second inning of the Cardinals' 8-6 win. A hit was awarded to Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco and an error was taken away from shortstop Daniel Descalso. As a result, all four runs that scored in that inning were earned.