In an unusually busy day of roster moves on Sunday for a club that has made several dozen already this season, the St. Louis Cardinals made four more on Sunday.
The two players restored to the club's 25-man active roster are rookie outfielder Joe Mather, who was recalled from Triple-A Memphis and shortstop Cesar Izturis, who was returned to active status from the 15-day disabled list.
The latter, a 28-year-old
Venezuelan, did not require a rehab outing after it was determined his strained
right hamstring is healed, a malady that has troubled Izturis in the past. He
went onto the DL on June 21st, the day after suffering the injury in
In his first season with
Mather, 25, was batting .303 with
a team-high 16 home runs and 38 RBI for
Mather comes into St. Louis in a hitting funk, going 3-for-22 since June 27, though he did go deep in his final game with Memphis, in Omaha on July 4.
As is his customary practice with players being added to his roster, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa penned the names of both players into his starting lineup for Sunday's series finale against the Chicago Cubs. Mather was leading off and playing left field. Shortstop Izturis batted seventh.
Barton, a Rule 5 selection from
Barton got out of the regular-season gates quickly, following his strong spring training with a .333 April. He then lost all his momentum at the plate, hitting .217 in May and .219 in June. He was 0-for-5 here in July.
Because of his Rule 5 status, Barton cannot be simply optioned to the minor leagues without clearing irrevocable waivers. This injury situation provides the Cardinals a convenient alternative.
They will have up to 20 days following his return to health in a rehab assignment (after a minimum of 15 days on the DL) to get Barton some minor league seasoning before having to bring him back to St. Louis.
While Boggs has earned points from many Cardinals fans due to his willingness to gut out outings, the facts demonstrate that he is not yet ready for full-time major league starting duty.
Yes, the rookie did have a nice six-inning, one run outing against the Royals on June 28, but overall, with 32 hits, 17 walks and just 12 strikeouts in 28.2 major league innings, it is clear that more seasoning is required.
Boggs being optioned out means the
Cardinals would need a replacement starter for his next turn on Wednesday in
Yet, in a surprise move, La Russa and pitching coach Dave Duncan are giving lefty Mark Mulder the start. That means for now Thompson will likely be deployed as a long man out of the pen.
With the moves, the Cardinals again shifted their roster from pitching-heavy (13 of 25 players) to position-player heavy. In other words, there are now five reserve position players to go with a seven-man bullpen.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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