Catcher Rob Johnson was placed on the disabled list of the Triple-A Memphis after being struck in the head by the backswing of Sacramento's Andy Parrino two days ago. With a fine reputation calling games, Johnson has a weak bat. In 75 at-bats over 23 games, the 29-year-old has a line of .182/.260/.282. Expected to carry the catching load for the Redbirds is J.R. Towles, backed up by recently called up Travis Tartamella.
To replace Johnson on the Memphis roster, infielder Vance Albitz rejoins the club from Double-A Springfield. Albitz hit .325 (13-for-40) with two doubles and five RBI in 15 Texas League games this season. Gaining hero points, Albitz threw three scoreless innings in Saturday night's 20-inning loss to Northwest Arkansas.
Albitz is one of the organization's informally-designated fill in players. The 25-year-old, who can play all over the infield, was also with the Pacific Coast Redbirds from the start of the season until April 9. During that brief time, Albitz went 4-for-10 (.400), scored three and drove in three. The right-handed hitter also had a 13-game fill-in stint with Memphis last season.
Albitz' spot on Springfield's active roster is being filled by outfielder Adam Melker. The 25-year-old was placed on the Texas League club's disabled list on May 5 due to shin splints. The left-handed hitter last played in the field on May 1, with a lone pinch-hitting appearance following. In 81 at-bats over 25 games this season, Melker has a line of .210/.264/.383. He has two home runs and five RBI.
At Class-A Peoria, right-hander Dixon Llorens took over in relief in the bottom of the fourth inning of game two of Saturday night's doubleheader. After yielding a leadoff single and a wild pitch, Llorens called for the trainer and left the game with an injury a team official called an "arm strain".
This season, the Cards' 25th-round pick in the 2012 draft has fanned 18 in 16 1/3 Midwest League innings, but has also given 11 walks. Llorens' ERA is 2.76 and the submariner has held hitters to a collective .175 average.
To replace Llorens in the Chiefs' pen is hard-throwing right-hander Sam Tuivailala. The 20-year-old moved from the infield to the mound at the start of last season with Johnson City. He struck out 23 but also walked 13 in 13 Appalachian League contests. His ERA was 4.15.
To see the Cardinals 40-man roster and full minor league system by position and level, check out the Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation blog.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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