Infielder Ruben Gotay returns to Cards system

The St. Louis Cardinals are adding infield depth in a 2010 Memphis Redbird and minor league journeyman.

Faced with a shortage of infielders, the St. Louis Cardinals have reached out to the minor league free agent market, adding Ruben Gotay. The minor league contract is pending competition of a physical examination, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

While David Freese's back injury is hoped to be of short duration, the Cardinals were already one infielder down at the upper levels of their system. First reported here at The Cardinal Nation last week, infielder Matt Cerda left Cardinals minor league camp. The minor league Rule 5 addition from the Chicago Cubs is considering retirement.

Gotay, 30, is no stranger to the Cardinals organization. Signed to a minor league deal by St. Louis prior to the 2010 season, the switch-hitter played in a career-high 139 games for Memphis that summer. However, other than briefly in major league spring training camp as a non-roster invitee, Gotay did not play with St. Louis.

Gotay had a line of .285/.410/.436 in 577 plate appearances for the Pacific Coast League Redbirds. His 13 home runs and 70 RBI were also career bests. Defensively, Gotay played third base primarily for Memphis, but also appeared at second (his natural position) as well as first.

Though Gotay has played parts of four seasons in the majors, the most recent stint was in 2008. Since then, the Puerto Rican native has truly been the minor league journeyman, bouncing from the Triple-A clubs of Atlanta to Arizona to St. Louis, to Miami to Atlanta again to Toronto and back again to St. Louis.

Though Gotay has not played below the Triple-A level since 2006, the Cardinals' greatest immediate need for help appears to be at Double-A Springfield.

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