On Friday, the St. Louis Cardinals signed catcher Michael McKenry to a minor league contract and assigned the 31-year-old to the Memphis Redbirds. To make room on the Triple-A roster, the Cardinals demoted outfielder Anthony Garcia to Double-A Springfield.
McKenry is Known
A native of Knoxville, TN who attended college at Middle Tennessee State, McKenry played for the Cardinals division rival Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012 and 2013. The right-handed hitter first signed with the Colorado Rockies in 2006 and make his MLB debut with them in 2010.
Now in his 11th professional season, McKenry joins his fifth organization, having also played in the Red Sox and Rangers systems. In February, he signed a minor league deal with Texas, playing in 13 games for Triple-A Round Rock before opting out of his contract two weeks ago. McKenry batted .220 and drove in 11 for the Express.
Having last appeared in the majors with Colorado last season, McKenry has played in 308 major league games -- 121 with the Rockies and 187 with the Pirates - with a .239 career MLB batting average, 29 home runs and 103 RBI.
McKenry joins Alberto Rosario and Michael Ohlman as Redbirds’ active catchers. Ohlman is batting .241 with a whopping 40 percent strikeout rate this season. Rosario, a 29-year-old minor league veteran, is hitting just .214 over his 61 plate appearances in 2016. As a team, the below-.500 Redbirds have been among the Pacific Coast League cellar-dwelling offenses this season.
2nd Garcia Lost in Two Days
Both the Memphis Garcias departed over the last two days, but they are heading in opposite directions. Unlike infielder Greg, called up to St. Louis on Thursday, Anthony Garcia's news was not so good. The 24-year-old has been reassigned to Double-A Springfield.
A notoriously streaky hitter, Garcia performed well after joining Memphis late last season, but despite being on the 40-man roster, did not impress in big-league camp this spring, his opportunity overshadowed by Jeremy Hazelbaker. Further, batting just .192 through 38 games this season likely led to the addition of outfielder Jose Martinez from Kansas City as well as Garcia’s demotion.
Springfield had an open roster spot so another move is not required to accommodate the return of Garcia, who spent most of 2015 at Double-A after repeating high-A Palm Beach in 2014.
Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Memphis Redbirds Notebook - 2016 Week 7. All the news from Memphis' AutoZone Park from local TCN reporter Thomas Simpson.
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