ST. LOUIS -- Jake Westbrook has resumed throwing and is optimistic that, if all continues as it has the last few days, he will return to the Cardinals' rotation next week.

Westbrook, who strained his right oblique in his Sept. 8 start, threw on flat ground each of the last two days and is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday. Westbrook said he would likely need to throw two bullpen sessions before he'd feel comfortable pitching in a game.

"If everything feels great with my side, I feel like I just need to get my arm in shape to start a game," Westbrook said. "The way it's gone, the last couple of days felt great. I think a couple bullpen sessions and I'll be ready to go."

The abbreviated absence is a best-case scenario for Westbrook, who missed approximately six weeks during his two previous oblique injuries. Those strains, though, were on his left side, which absorbs more force in a right-handed pitcher's delivery.

With Westbrook working his way back and Chris Carpenter set to make his season debut on Friday, the Cardinals are soon to have a plethora of starting pitching options. Joe Kelly has already been pushed to the bullpen, and Lance Lynn could eventually follow.

Though the Cardinals have laid out tentative pitching plans through the end of the season, the club has not announced how the rotation will set up beyond Saturday.

Holliday nominated for Clemente Award

ST. LOUIS -- For everything that Matt Holliday has done to help put the Cardinals in position for another playoff berth, his most impactful contributions continue to come away from the public eye.

Holliday was honored for that off-the-field work during a pregame ceremony on Tuesday, during which the Cardinals recognized their left fielder as the team's nominee for Major League Baseball's Roberto Clemente Award. This annual award is given to a player who best represents baseball through positive contributions on and off the field.

The winner of this year's Roberto Clemente Award will be named during the World Series.

"Anytime you're recognized with Roberto Clemente and all the things that he did in the community and for charitable works, it's an honor," Holliday said. "I don't necessarily need the personal recognition for it. I'm just glad that it's a chance to give some more money to some charities."

Holliday, along with his wife, Leslee, has been involved in numerous charitable events during his time in St. Louis. Upon Albert Pujols' departure last winter, Holliday took over Pujols' annual celebrity golf tournament. This summer's event raised $250,000 for the Pujols Family Foundation, which assists with treatment for individuals with Down Syndrome and finances children's programs in the Dominican Republic.

In a new endeavor for 2012, Holliday joined David Freese in a "Homers for Health" program. Freese and Holliday asked fans to pledge per home run hit by the Cardinals this season. Those donations go to the Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital to help fund research and hospital programs for children.

Holliday also serves as the spokesman for the Cardinals Kids Club and is actively involved in the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He has participated in several other charity events to benefit Cardinals Care, and he often makes surprise visits to nearby children's hospitals.

Fan voting will assist in naming this year's Clemente Award winner. Voting is open at mlb.com/clementeaward until Oct. 14.

Phase one of Ballpark Village set to finish in '14

ST. LOUIS -- Just hours after the Missouri Development Finance Board approved the public financing portion for the construction of the Ballpark Village, Cardinals president Bill DeWitt III announced that the first phase of the new development is expected to be completed by Opening Day 2014.

During a news conference at Busch Stadium on Tuesday afternoon, DeWitt III and Chase Martin, the development director of Cordish Companies, which has partnered with the organization in this project, announced that the groundbreaking on Ballpark Village is tentatively scheduled for mid-November.

"It's been a challenge," DeWitt III said when asked about finally seeing the finish line after several years of unsuccessful attempts to jumpstart the project.

"I've never had anything in my career where it's taken that long and I've had so much invested emotionally and time wise into something. For me personally, it's a great day. It is a big deal for me because it's something I've worked pretty significantly on for periods during this whole time. Having it finally moving forward is a great relief for me."

Now that the Ballpark Village has cleared most of the hurdles associated with locking down public financial approval, Cordish Companies will expedite the design work on the complex.

The development will eventually span seven blocks over 10 acres just to the north of Busch Stadium. Ballpark Village will be built in phases, though the infrastructure to support all future development will be put in place before above-ground construction begins.

After that infrastructure work is complete, work will begin on phase one of the development. That is expected to being in early spring 2013.

This first phase will include a venue called Cardinals Nation, which will include a two-story restaurant, a Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum and a seating deck overlooking the stadium. Anheuser-Busch is also a part of this phase one work, as it will finance a venue with a rooftop party deck that will also offer views into the stadium.

In between the two buildings will be the "Live at Ballpark Village!" outdoor event space.

Martin said that another four to five tenants will be a part of this first phase development. Those tenants will be announced at a later date.

Additional phases of Ballpark Village will follow based on demand and market conditions. Martin said that several other potential tenants have already expressed interest in being a part of the expansion. Those tenants include those looking to use the space for retail, professional offices and residential areas.

"Today was a big day for us," DeWitt III said. "There are still a few things we need to do between now and breaking ground, but we're very excited about where we are."

Worth noting

• Having been moved back to the bullpen, Joe Kelly will be available beginning on Wednesday. Kelly last pitched on Friday, when he made a five-inning start in Los Angeles.

• Though his availability was questionable prior to Tuesday's game, Mitchell Boggs reported no additional lower back tightness after his 25-pitch appearance in the eighth inning. Boggs allowed one run on three hits in the two-thirds-of-an-inning appearance.

• Local musician Johnny Venus threw a ceremonial first pitch on Tuesday, which was dubbed Johnny Venus Night at the Ballpark. Venus, a drummer for the St. Louis-based rock band Greek Fire, was recently diagnosed with leukemia. Proceeds from the night's ticket sales went to support the local Leukemia Foundation and toward Venus' medical costs.

• The biggest scare during Kyle Lohse's seven-inning start on Tuesday came in the sixth, when he stumbled and fell forward as he finished his delivery. Lohse was briefly visited by a team trainer and manager Matheny before continuing in his outing. Lohse said afterward that his landing foot missed the divot he had dug into the mound. That caused him to slip.

Lohse added that he did not injure himself during the incident.