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Cardinals activate Punto, promote Hamilton

In an update of a previous post, the Cardinals have announced that first baseman Mark Hamilton of the Class AAA Memphis Redbirds will be promoted to fill the roster spot of injured outfielder Allen Craig.

Meanwhile, utility infielder Nick Punto has been activated from the disabled list and will take the spot of disabled infielder Skip Schumaker.

Hamilton, a lefty power hitter, has been doing well in the minors since receiving a long look at spring training. He's batting .297 with a homer and four batted in for the Redbirds. Obviously, the Cardinals have a pretty accomplished first baseman. So it would appear that Hamilton will mostly be around for his pinch hitting skills.

Punto has been out of action since early in spring training when he had to have surgery to repair a sports hernia. He was playing in extended spring training with Cardinals minor leaguers and the team was expected to send him out soon on a rehab assignment. But the injury of Schumaker pressed the Cardinals into making a move sooner.

The Cardinals could have let Punto ease back as planned. But they likely would have had to call up Matt Carpenter to fill in for Skippy. Carpenter has struggled with the bat at Memphis after an impressive spring. He also needs to work on his fielding skills. But the deciding factor was likely that Carpenter is not on the 40-man roster and a more significant move to clear space for him would have been required.