Just a day after talking about how any offensive reinforcements we can call up from Memphis probably won’t create that much of effect, John Mozeliak indicates he had to try something anyway and added first baseman Xavier Scruggs and infielder Greg Garcia to the Major League roster. Headed back to Memphis are catcher Ed Easley and relief pitcher Mitch Harris.
In theory, this will help solidify the Cardinals’ bench and give Mike Matheny more options while he constructs lineups on a nightly basis.
Since Matt Adams went on the disabled list, Pete Kozma has been the Cardinals’ only bench infielder. So basically he’s been acting as the backup at second base, shortstop, and third base. He’s also seen a little time at first base and in left field. While Kozma is retained by the team simply because he’s the only one that can play a defensively plus shortstop in the organization, were anything to happen to Jhonny Peralta, he is hitting just .098/.164/.098 so far this season.
While Greg Garcia may not be able to handle shortstop on an everyday basis for the Cardinals, he won’t be asked to do that and can fill in at third and second. He’s been having a stellar season in Memphis too, hitting .313/.405/.369 over 61 games so far, and .347 over the last month.
Garcia made a couple trips to St. Louis last season. Combined he went 2-for-14 and was hit by more pitches (3), including a walk off HBP against the Cubs, than he had hits (2).
Xavier Scruggs is the other guy and I discussed him at length yesterday. Scruggs is hitting .251/.363/.488 with 11 home runs over 60 games this season. He is also hitting .339 so far in June. Hopefully some of that heat will carry over to the Majors, but unless he hits the ground running, it’s going to be awfully difficult to say that he deserves to take playing time away from Reynolds. Reynolds, while he has lacked his overall thump, is about the only Cardinals’ regular doing anything positive with the bat in June.
The move itself is good to see if for no other reason than it will hopefully quell the frustration I read every night on Twitter. The success or failure of it will depend on Matheny actually giving these guys opportunities to play.
Easley is the position player going back to Memphis, but he only had three plate appearances in the three weeks or so he was with the big league club. For Scruggs and Garcia, that won’t do it. They will need to play more often. If only to keep the infield fresh.