Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Holliday Is Hitting but Still on Hold

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Holliday Is Hitting but Still on Hold

Article excerpt

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, while conducting his pregame interview in the Cardinals' dugout Tuesday, peered over the heads of the various reporters involved and observed his franchise losing money by the minute.

Injured slugger Matt Holliday, taking his first outside batting practice in a while, launched a fusillade of line drives over the left-field wall.

"He's losing a lot of baseballs right now," said Matheny, smiling. "He's costing the club."

More seriously, Matheny said, "It's always good to see him back. But whenever you see a step forward, you have to realize it always gives the potential that something could come up and you'd take one back.

"But, him being on the field and what I'm hearing and what he's doing inside the training room are all things pointing in a positive direction, pointing to him getting closer. What closer means isn't very clear right now."

Holliday, down for the second time with a right quadriceps strain, said, "I feel good doing what I'm doing, but I don't know what that means as far as timetable or anything.

"I really haven't stopped hitting. I've been hitting in the cage. Hitting has never really bothered me."

Holliday probably could hit now, but Matheny worries about his ability to come out of the batter's box, which is how he got hurt the second time July 29.

To the suggestion that he could hit before he could field, Holliday said, "We haven't even begun to talk about it, so I don't know what they want."

But Holliday was clear on what he wanted.

"When I come back, I'll be ready to play, or be full-out," said Holliday. "I don't want any hesitation on the bases or anything like that."

The 35-year-old left fielder also ran a few sprints Tuesday, a pattern similar to his recovery from his first quad strain.

As far as what that meant, Holliday said, "I haven't run hard enough to say yet. I don't think I'll be able to have a real clear answer for that until they have me push it a little closer to a full hard run."

Inactivity for 10 weeks of the last 12 can take its toll. And Holliday admitted, "It's obviously frustrating but there's nothing I can do about it. Every day, (you) work hard and try to get ready to be healthy. …

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