Kim Klement /USA TODAY Sports Images

The St. Louis Cardinals returned catcher Brayan Pena to the 15-day disabled list

The St. Louis Cardinals returned catcher Brayan Pena to the 15-day disabled list with his replacement first-time Major Leaguer Alberto Rosario.

St. Louis Cardinals press release

Prior to tonight’s (Wednesday’s) game, the St. Louis Cardinals placed catcher Brayan Pena on the 15-day disabled list with left knee inflammation.  Rookie catcher Alberto Rosario has been purchased from Triple-A Memphis and is expected to be available for tonight’s contest.  Rosario will wear uniform No. 68.

http://www.scout.com/player/69524-brayan-pena?s=321

Peña opened the season on the disabled list and missed 75 games after having left knee surgery in early April. He was activated from the D.L. on June 28, and made two starts, including last (Tuesday) night when he picked up his first hit as a Cardinal.  Peña is 1-for-8 on the season with two pinch at-bats. 

http://www.scout.com/player/103856-alberto-rosario?s=321

Rosario has appeared in 39 games for the Memphis Redbirds and is batting .281 (32-114).  The 29 year old was signed by St. Louis as a minor league free agent on December 12, 2014, and is in his 11th professional season after signing with the Los Angeles Angels as a non-drafted free agent in January of 2005.  He has nabbed 10 of 24 (42%) would be base stealers this season and has a 42% career caught-stealing rate in the minors (295-704).  Rosario will be making his Major League debut.

Brian Walton’s take

Pena did not look good in his time played with St. Louis since his reactivation, begging the question of whether he was fully ready to return or was re-injured since. Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch reports that Pena returned “without needed leg strength.”

Perhaps this is why the Cardinals used the full 20 days for his rehab tour between Memphis and Springfield, but there was nothing to stop them from another rehab stint if necessary. This move also reopens the second-guessing door for those who preferred the Cardinals to have kept former reserve catcher Eric Fryer instead of activating Pena.  

TCN’s Springfield reporter Derek Shore says Pena looked slower than usual and sluggish behind the plate during the Double-A portion of his rehab, though Pena’s minor league defensive numbers do not look unusual. Pena was charged with no errors in 11 rehab games between Springfield and Memphis. He had one passed ball (at AAA) and threw out 30% of the attempted base stealers (3 of 10).

Like with Travis Tartamella last season, perhaps Rosario’s promotion (ahead of MLB veteran Michael McKenry) occurred because his defense is more valued or some other factors. At any case, Rosario takes the 39th spot on St. Louis’ 40-man roster and is officially Molina’s new back up.

Memphis has not yet announced its roster addition to replace Rosario.

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