St. Louis Cardinals press release
The St. Louis Cardinals announced today (Tuesday) infielder Jhonny Peralta has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a ligament strain in his left thumb, retroactive to July 18.
In addition, rookie outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker and right-handed pitcher Miguel Socolovich have been recalled from Memphis (AAA) and will be active for tonight’s game against the San Diego Padres. To make room on the team’s 25-man Major League roster, catcher Michael McKenry was designated for assignment.
Peralta, 34, missed the first 57 games of the 2016 season with left thumb ligament surgery before returning to the Cardinals on June 7. Upon his return, Peralta played in 30 games, starting 28 at third base while batting .221 with five home runs and 13 RBI. Last Saturday, Peralta hit his 199th career home run.
Hazelbaker, 28, was on the Cardinals Opening Day roster and played in 61 games, starting 44, at three different outfield positions. He batted .250 with seven home runs and 19 RBI before being optioned to Memphis following the game on June 15. Hazelbaker still ranks among Major League Baseball pinch-hit leaders in home runs (3, T2nd), batting (.368, T6th) and RBI (6, T4th).
A veteran of 751 minor league games entering the 2016 season, Hazelbaker played in 13 games at Memphis following his option, batting .325 with a home run and 11 RBI and a .913 on base+slugging mark.
Socolovich, who turns 30 on Sunday, made 35 relief appearances for Memphis this season posting a 2-5 record with a 2.79 ERA and three saves hurling 38.2 innings with 40 strikeouts. The Caracas, Venezuela native appeared in 28 games in St. Louis in 2015 with a 1.82 ERA.
McKenry, 31, appeared in three games since his promotion on July 7, with one sacrifice bunt in two plate appearances.
Brian Walton’s take
It is clearly better for the Cardinals to try to take Peralta offline and get him right. He becomes the team’s second player to have the return to the disabled list shortly after re-activation, following catcher Brayan Pena (knee) at the start of the month.
With Matt Carpenter still out due to his own injury, the door seems open for Greg Garcia to receive regular starts at third base, with Jedd Gyorko the likely next man up at the hot corner.
McKenry is immediately off the Cardinals’ 40-man roster, which is currently at 39 players. Up to 10 days is allowed to resolve his status, whether to be claimed off waivers, traded or released. He could also accept a minor league assignment if offered, but my guess is that he will move on.
Socolovich has performed well with St. Louis in the past and with Memphis, with an ability to pitch multiple innings if needed. He becomes the third reliever in recent weeks to receive a cameo with the Cardinals, following Dean Kiekhefer and Sam Tuivailala. The latter two are back with the Triple-A Redbirds currently. No other minor league relievers are currently on the 40-man roster.
With these moves, Memphis will be down two players from its 25-man limit, so expect other moves to be announced later on Tuesday or on Wednesday to re-stock the Triple-A roster.
Tuesday update: The Cardinals brought outfielder Anthony Garcia back to Memphis from Springfield to replace Hazelbaker on the Triple-A roster. Garcia, who opened the season with the Redbirds, was sent down to Double-A on May 27 as his average was under the Mendoza line. In 37 games with Springfield, the 40-man roster player posted a so-so line of .254/.331/.377/.708.
There are four other outfielders on the Memphis roster in Charlie Tilson, Harrison Bader, Jose Martinez and David Washington to compete with Garcia for playing time.
Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Cardinals Prospect Interview: State College Pitcher Ronnie Williams
Not yet a member?
Join The Cardinal Nation for the most comprehensive coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals from the majors through the entire minor league system. Take advantage of our seven-day free trial.
© 2016 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com and scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.