Mozeliak: Minor-leaguers will be added

News-DemocratAugust 26, 2013 

— Reinforcements soon will be arriving for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Major-league rosters can swell to as many as 40 players Sunday. The Cardinals certainly won't add 15, but General Manager John Mozeliak said Monday they probably will summon more than in previous seasons.

Some could arrive Sunday, Mozeliak said, with others filtering into the clubhouse when the minor-league season ends early next week.

"Our philosophy has been to try to do less," Mozeliak said. "I would say, though, the way this schedule has played out this year, we may see a few extra players here. We're in a pretty tough stretch. There's not a lot of off days between here and the end.

"I could envision numbers somewhere between 30 and 35. I would like it to be lower, but we'll see."

Mozeliak said between four and six pitchers likely will be added. Candidates include Michael Blazek, Keith Butler, Sam Freeman and Fernando Salas. Position players who could get the call are Ryan Jackson, Jermaine Curtis, Brock Peterson and Adron Chambers.

"I don't anticipate any surprises, but as you can imagine, anything can happen within a week," Mozeliak said.

Garcia throws

Left-hander Jaime Garcia is recovering from May shoulder surgery but took an important step in his recovery process Monday when he played catch for the first time.

Garcia said he made between 20 and 30 throws from distances between 45 and 60 feet.

"The first day of throwing always is going to be a little (strange)," Garcia said. "It's real exciting to get going, but it was the first day and I'm sure I'll be able to tell here in the next week or so kind of how it's going."

The estimated recovery time for Garcia is six months. He is expected to have a normal offseason and spring training

"Obviously, I'm super-excited and everything, but at the same time, it's something that takes time," Garcia said. "You've got to basically take one day at a time and see how it's going. ... I'm in a good place right now and I'll just keep working hard and keep a good mentality and see what happens. There will be bumps in the road, but it was a good first day of playing catch and we'll take it one day at a time."

Mozeliak is encouraged.

"Any time you're coming off a surgery and you're progressing like he is, to get that first initial step of the throwing program is great news," Mozeliak said. "More important is I just think how he's been responding is really encouraging. The medical staff really believes he'll be somebody that will be ready to go with a normal offseason. We're looking forward to seeing him next spring."

Day off for Beltran

Right fielder Carlos Beltran, who had been on a 13-for-27 tear (.481) through Saturday before going 0-for-4 on Sunday, took a breather Monday as he yielded right field to Allen Craig.

"He still feels good, but it's coupled with the fact we're still trying to work ways to keep (Matt) Adams in there," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. "But we like what we see with Carlos, and want it to continue. There's going to be days we'll push him a little bit and days we feel we can back off, and today's one of those days."

Beltran got into the game as pinch-hitter in the seventh and doubled in a five-run outburst that produced an 8-6 win over Cincinnati. It was Beltran's first pinch-hit of the season in five at-bats.

Matheny loves getting Adams' power bat in the lineup. But Adams also has been productive off the bench, going 11-for-32 (.344) with three home runs as a pinch-hitter.

We've seen him get a little bit more opportunity when guys go down, and he's put together good at-bats," Matheny said. "But the pinch-hitting thing is something you never know how a young player will adapt to because none of them really come up through the system as a pinch-hitter.

"You can just tell he has a real good idea of his swing more so than the opposition, which he's learning quickly. He understands what he needs to do to be successful and he's sticking with it."

Contact reporter David Wilhelm at dwilhelm@bnd.com or 239-2665. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidMWilhelm.

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