St. Louis Cardinals press release
The St. Louis Cardinals announced prior to Tuesday night’s game that they have activated switch-hitting catcher Brayan Pena Pena (left knee surgery) from the 15-day disabled list and designated catcher Eric Fryer for assignment.
Pena, 34, who underwent left knee surgery the first week in April, had missed the first 75 games of the 2016 season. He batted a combined .192 (10-for-52) in 14 games between Memphis (5 games) and Springfield (9 games) during his injury rehabilitation assignment. Pena made nine starts at catcher and two at first base during his rehab assignment.
A native of Havana, Cuba, Pena owns a career .260 batting mark with 23 home runs and 164 RBI in 629 games with Atlanta (2005-08), Kansas City (2009-12), Detroit (2013) and Cincinnati (2014-15).
Fryer, 30, appeared in 24 games with the Cardinals, batting .368 (14-for-38) with 5 RBI.
Pena, who wears no. 33, will be in uniform for tonight’s series finale at Kansas City.
Brian Walton’s take
The timing of Pena’s reactivation was not a surprise since he was with the club in Kansas City on Monday night. The only oddity was the fact that Pena was kept on rehab for the entire 20 days allowed and was bounced back and forth between Memphis and Springfield several times.
Fryer performed well in his very brief time with the Cardinals, but his track record does not compare to that of Pena. The latter, a switch-hitter, signed a two-year contract with St. Louis last November.
In St. Louis’ first 75 games, Yadier Molina made 67 starts behind the plate with Fryer taking just eight. Many observers, myself included, hope that Molina, who turns 34 in two weeks, will be rested more frequently with Pena active.
With the move, Fryer has been removed from St. Louis’ 40-man roster with up to 10 days to settle his fate, whether to be claimed off waivers, traded or released. He could also accept a minor league assignment if offered.
Even if Fryer leaves the organization, the Cardinals have another MLB-experienced catcher in reserve at Triple-A Memphis in Michael McKenry.
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