Cardinals DL Mark Ellis, Recall Greg Garcia

The St. Louis Cardinals made a change in their middle infield reserves, with Greg Garcia replacing Mark Ellis.

The St. Louis Cardinals have placed infielder Mark Ellis on the 15-day disabled list with a left oblique strain, retroactive to August 15th. Infielder Greg Garcia was recalled from Memphis (AAA) to take his spot on the 25-man roster.

Ellis, 37, had not played since Thursday, August 14 vs. San Diego. The veteran infielder had started four games since Kolten Wong returned from the disabled list on July 6th.

Garcia, 25, played in 103 games in Memphis primarily at second base with games at third base and shortstop. He was batting .275 with 8 home runs and 40 RBI at the time of recall. The left-handed batting infielder was having a strong August batting .367 during the month.

Garcia is making his second appearance in St. Louis, as he appeared in seven games from April 28-May 13, batting .200 (2-10) with an RBI. Garcia was hit by pitch in the 12th inning for a game-ending RBI against Chicago on May 13 before getting optioned back to Memphis.

Brian Walton’s take: The press releases usually leave out the less-pleasant news and this one is no exception.

Since Wong’s July 6 return was the stake put into the ground, let’s dig a bit deeper. In that time, Ellis has the worst batting line on the team among all players with at least 20 plate appearances – in all three measures - .182 average and slugging plus .250 on-base percentage. Of course, it follows that his .432 OPS is also dead last among Cardinals during that period.

For the season, Ellis’ line is only slightly better at .192/.267/.228/.495.

Defensively, Ellis is primarily a second baseman and did not look particularly adept in a recent start at first. Though also mainly a second baseman, Garcia can play shortstop and even third base in a pinch.

There is no guarantee that Garcia will be given much of a chance to contribute, especially with his defensive positions and batting side of the plate the same as primary infield reserve Daniel Descalso, but at least he had been hot at Triple-A. The left-handed batter has hit safely in 15 of his last 19 Memphis games at a .353 clip (24-for-68) with three doubles, 10 RBI and 14 runs scored since July 29.

Though now down an infielder, Memphis still has Luis Mateo, Pete Kozma and Jermaine Curtis to play up the middle. Scott Moore remains the starter at third.

Bottom line, there seems no way this move can hurt St. Louis.

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To see the Cardinals’ entire system by level and position, along with every transaction affecting the organization, check out the Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation blog.

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