The Cardinals have called up fleet footed outfielder Jon jay from Memphis and sent struggling slugger Allen Craig back down to the minors.
Craig, who tore the cover off the baseball in spring training, has suffered from infrequent at bats at the big league level and is hitting just .056 since the start of the season. Jay, on the other hand, is hitting .347 in Class AAA and has stolen seven bases in seven tries. He has eight doubles and two homers in 72 at bats.
I'm a Jay fan. I think he's shown the ability to be a leadoff hitter type at the big league level. The problem is that he will face the same obstacles that Craig did: The Cardinals' big league outfield is set and he is going to play sporadically -- unless someone gets hurt. And none of us want to see that happen...
The Cardinals are also said to be kicking around the idea of disabling Felipe Lopez, pending the outcome of his visit today with a doctor concerning his throwing elbow. The Cardinals would pretty much be forced to call up Tyler Greene, who didn't hit a lick this spring, because he is the only thing the team has even close to major league ready middle infield help in the high minors.
Greene is hitting .275 at Memphis but has struck out 18 times in 69 at bats. In the field, Greene has already made seven errors. Yikes.
So the Cardinals have few middle defensive options off of their bench, little power and even less major league experience at the plate. This is starting to look like it could be a problem.
The Birds will soon be adding one experienced player to their dugout. Backup catcher Jason LaRue is eligible to come off the disabled list Tuesday and has said he is ready to go. Bryan Anderson, who has played so sparingly that he couldn't even get into the game after starter Yadier Molina caught all 20 innings April 17 against the Mets, seems likely to be returned to Memphis.