Mitch Harris is still being bothered by discomfort in his right arm and is going to be re-examined by doctors in St. Louis in the next few days. (Bill Greenblatt/UPI)

By Rob Rains

When the Cardinals left spring training at the end of March, Mitch Harris remained behind to try to rehab a sore arm that had plagued him throughout the spring.

Harris, and the Cardinals, thought it would only be a couple of weeks before the reliever would be ready to join either the major-league or Triple A team. A month later, however, Harris is still in Florida and apparently isn’t close to returning any time soon.

Harris is in fact heading to St. Louis in the next few days, but it will be to consult with Dr. George Paletta to see if the doctors are 100 percent certain about what is continuing to cause Harris discomfort in his right arm.

“We are going to let him double check everything,” Harris said by phone from Jupiter, Fla. “My shoulder’s felt great, it’s just around the elbow and forearm; we just want to ensure exactly what it is before we push any further.

“We are going to check to make sure there is nothing that we have missed. It’s just been a steady discomfort.”

Harris did progress to throwing live bullpens since the end of spring training, but after his last live session on Friday he still was not pain free. The decision was made on Monday to get his arm examined again.

“I felt it while I was throwing a little bit but it’s not like I can pinpoint a pain,” Harris said. “Obviously it affected my pitching and that’s when I know it’s not right, and not where I should be.”

He and the trainers decided to take the weekend off to see if there was a possibility the discomfort was caused by “ramping it up” for the live bullpen, but when he tossed on Monday Harris still felt the discomfort.

“The next step after a live bullpen is to get into a game and I don’t want to do that yet because after the live I could tell that I am still not 100 percent,” Harris said.

Harris made only one appearance for the Cardinals during the spring, pitching 1 1/3 innings against the Mets on March 10 in Port St. Lucie.

“There wasn’t a whole lot of positive progression,” Harris said. “It kind of just maintained what I was feeling. That’s where we kind of sat back and said if it was just inflammation that should be gone. We took some time off, we slowly worked through a throwing program and it’s still there, so we need to reassess to make sure we’re not missing anything.

“What concerns me is there is no real structural stuff now but if there is something else going on there could be some structural stuff later. That’s why we are being cautious.”

Harris said the discomfort is in the same part of his arm which he was dealing with during the spring.

“It’s different than coming out of a game and my arm just being sore,” Harris said. “It’s a discomfort that I’m not used to … I know I am not 100 percent.

“We don’t have the answers and that’s the frustrating part.”

Harris is not the only Cardinals’ pitching prospect who has had a delayed start to the season.

Former first-round draft pick Marco Gonzales already has had Tommy John surgery and will miss the entire season. Another first-round pick, Luke Weaver, is still recovering from a broken left hand he suffered in an outfield collision during batting practice in spring training.

Weaver was expected to be out about a month, which would have his return coming soon, but Gary LaRocque, the team’s director of player development said Tuesday Weaver “has continued with his throwing progression in rehab.”

Another prospect, left-hander Tim Cooney, like Gonzales expected to be in the starting rotation at Memphis, also has been on the disabled list since the start of the season and there has been no recent update on his condition.

The one pitching prospect who is getting closer to returning to live action is right-hander Alex Reyes, who is scheduled to complete his 50-game suspension in mid-May. Reyes was suspended after testing positive for smoking marijuana during the Arizona Fall League. He is expected to be assigned to Double A Springfield when the suspension is completed.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains