St. Louis Cardinals

Anna’s promotion to Cardinals anything but routine

Infielder Dean Anna’s promotion from Class AAA Memphis to the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday wasn’t glitch-free.

“Southwest lost my bags last night. I was a little worried,” the 5-foot-11, 180-pound Anna said Sunday afternoon before the series finale against Cincinnati at Busch Stadium. “My gloves were in there, too. It arrived this morning, so I was really happy.”

Anna, who has two gloves, usually puts them in a carry-on bag.

“One time (I don’t) and it happens,” Anna said. “I don’t know what happened.”

Anna has played shortstop, second base and third base with Memphis, where he was batting .414 (12-for-29) with three doubles and two RBIs in eight games.

“I’ve been in a good rhythm, a good mindset,” Anna said. “Hopefully, it can carry on up here.”

Anna took the roster spot of outfielder Randal Grichuk, who was placed on the disabled list with a strained back suffered while lifting weights Friday.

“I kind of feel bad, really, coming up, in a way,” Anna said. “You don’t want to come up when a guy gets hurt. But I’m here and I’m here to help the team. When ‘Grich’ gets back, I don’t know what’s going to happen. It kind of stinks that he got hurt. He’s been hitting good, too.”

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said the 28-year-old Anna, a 26th-round draft pick of the San Diego Padres in 2008, will provide a left-handed bat off the bench. Matheny said he wouldn’t hesitate to use Pete Kozma or even Mark Reynolds in the outfield if the need arises.

“He’s swinging it as good as anybody from the left side right now,” Matheny said. “We’re giving him an opportunity to come in and do something.”

Anna batted .200 (4-for-20) with three RBIs in 17 spring-training games and was optioned to Memphis on March 29. The Cardinals signed him and Ty Kelly in November to compete for the backup-infielder role, a job won in the spring by Kozma. Greg Garcia also was in the mix.

“Trying to make the team, I put a little pressure on myself, absolutely,” said Anna, a product of Ball State University. “The goal for me was definitely be ready for the season.

“Last year, I was in big-league camp (with the New York Yankees) and I swung too many times and I got a little tired. I learned from that. This was only my second big-league spring training, so I was kind of learning how to work my body. My body feels pretty good right now at this point, where it should be at this point.”

Anna made the Yankees out of spring training and batted .136 (3-for-22) with one home run, against Boston’s Clay Buchholz, and three RBIs in 12 games. What lessons did Anna learn from the experience that he will apply with the Cardinals?

“Just relax a little bit more and don’t wear myself out in the cages,” he said. “I’m sure I’m not going to start too much. Coming off the bench (last year), I was in the batting cages a lot underground, swinging, swinging, swinging. Then when I played, I was a little tired. Just a learning process.”

Anna prides himself in being ready for anything, any time.

“You’re excited,” Anna said about receiving another shot in the major leagues. “You’re working hard, so when you get the call, (you realize) the hard work is paying off. You’ve just got to keep it going and have a good mindset when you’re in the minors, treat it like it’s your big leagues so when you come up here, you’re not shocked by anything.

“It’s easy to have less of a mindset in the minors because you don’t have all this attention, you don’t have all the crowd. It’s different. You’ve got to have the same mindset. I think that’s what, hopefully, is going to help me.”

Holliday back in action

Left fielder Matt Holliday was in the lineup Sunday against Reds starter Mike Leake. Holliday left the game after one inning Saturday because of back stiffness.

“If he tells me he’s ready to go, he’s got a pretty good feel for when he is and when he isn’t,” Matheny said.

Holliday was 1-for-3 and extended his hitting streak to 11 games. He is batting .361 (13-for-36, second on the team to Matt Carpenter’s .400. Holliday has six RBIs.

On to Washington

The Cardinals will be off Monday for the final time until May 11.

St. Louis begins a stretch of 20 games in 20 days Tuesday when it opens a series in Washington against the Nationals (6-7), a strong contender for the National League title.

Lance Lynn (1-1, 1.64 ERA) will work the opener of the series against Gio Gonzalez (1-1, 5.11 ERA) at 6:05 p.m. Tuesday, followed by John Lackey (1-0, 2.77 ERA) opposing Doug Fister (1-0, 0.69 ERA) at 6:05 p.m. Wednesday. Michael Wacha (2-0, 1.35 ERA) will pitch against St. Louisan Max Scherzer (1-1, 0.83) at 3:05 p.m. Thursday.

The six-game road trip concludes with three in Milwaukee against the struggling Brewers, who tumbled to 2-10 on Sunday with a 5-2 loss to Pittsburgh.

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