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Cardinals release Mark Hamilton to make room for Jaime Garcia

Cardinals farmhand Mark Hamilton was the odd man out in the game of 40 man roster musical chairs.

Hamilton, who was hitting .231 with 15 homers and 51 RBIs for Class AAA Memphis, was let go to make room to return St. Louis starting pitcher Jaime Garcia to the roster. Garcia had been on the 60 day disabled list because of a strained shoulder. Unlike the 15 day disabled list, players on the 60 day list don't count against the 40 man roster.

Apparently the Birds thought Hamilton, 28, was expendable because of the emergence of fellow first baseman Matt Adams. But he also picked a bad time to have his worst minor league season at the plate. He hit at least .298 every season in Class AAA dating back to 2008. His best year for batting average was 2011 when he hit .345.

He appeared in St. Louis the last two years with a .197 batting average over 66 plate appearances in 2010-11. He had four major league RBIs and no home runs.

He's a Texas native, so maybe former Cardinals farm director and current Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow will give Hamilton a shot in Houston's system.

Garcia is expected to start on the mound for St. Louis Sunday against the Pirates.