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MLB Team Report - St. Louis Cardinals - INSIDE PITCH
The era of 2011 World Series hero David Freese as a Cardinals regular may be coming to an end. That's if lefthanded-hitting rookie Kolten Wong, recalled on Friday, shows that he is ready to be a regular second baseman, thus moving Matt Carpenter to third and Freese to the bench, at least against righthanded pitching.
Wong, the club's top draft pick in 2011, had been hitting .303 with 20 steals in 21 attempts at Class AAA Memphis and he started two games out of three in a weekend series in Chicago. He was hitless in all three games, including a pinch hitting appearance although Wong hit a couple of balls hard on Sunday in a 6-1 Cardinals win.
"It's been something we had been thinking about for some time," general manager John Mozeliak said. "I thought he was ready for the big leagues. It was just about when we could we get him in here.
"We were thinking maybe we should wait until the rosters were expanding (Sept. 1) but the way things had been going, we felt maybe getting a little energy back on this club made some sense."
Manager Mike Matheny met with Freese to impress on him that there was no permanency attached to this move. "Don't read too much into this," he said. "We'll see over time how (it) actually plays out.
"I don't want guys to start, in their mind, going places where they don't need to go," Matheny said.
And Mozeliak said, "It's a day-by-day decision. I'm not saying (Wong) has to play every day at this point. There's going to be times when we want to get David back in that lineup."
Freese is hitting .265 with six homers and 43 runs batted in and has committed 10 errors at third base.
"But right now," said Mozeliak, "my responsibility is making sure we put the best team out there we can. I still think David can be part of that. We're also trying to inject some new life into this lineup."
Mozeliak, asked what effect the arrival of Wong would have on a clubhouse in which Freese is very popular, said, "We were cognizant of that and we thought about that. But, in the end, these guys are all in it together.
"Sometimes when you're looking to your left and you're looking to your right, you may not like what you see but you have to accept what you have."
Freese, citing team goals, said, "This is about winning and getting to the postseason. It's about having a quality 25-man roster.
"Obviously, it looks like my playing time is going to lessen to a degree, especially if Kolten's at second and Carp's third but I'm going to be ready whenever I'm in the lineup
"We'll see how it plays out. Kolten's a great player. He's had a successful minor league career and we'll see what he can do up there. Hopefully, he can bring a spark."
Asked if he thought he had to hit his way back into the lineup, Freese said, "I think you have to hit to stay in the lineup, regardless."
MLB Team Report - St. Louis Cardinals - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Won two
PAST 10 GAMES: 5-5
NEXT: Cardinals (Shelby Miller, 11-8, 2.97 ERA) at Brewers (Marco Estrada, 5-4, 4.71 ERA)
--RHP Adam Wainwright (14-7) moved into a tie for the National League lead for victories as he broke out of a four-start winless streak with a seven-inning effort on Sunday. Wainwright had his 21st quality start and third double-digit strikeout effort of the season with 11, one away from his season high. He joins Ron Perranoski, Vida Blue and Bobby J. Jones as the only pitchers to post perfect 6-0 marks at Wrigley Field. Wainwright is now 7-6 with a 4.40 ERA in 30 career games (21 starts) against the Cubs.
--CF Jon Jay went 2-for-3 with a double, home run and career-high tying four RBIs on Sunday. His 26 hits in August leads the National League.
--C Yadier Molina was 2-for-5 Sunday, with a double and two runs scored, and tops the National League with a .348 road batting average. Molina is hitting .432 with six doubles and seven multi-hit efforts in 12 games against the Cubs this season.
--3B Matt Carpenter was 1-for-4 on Sunday with a two RBIs off a second-inning double. He is hitting .319 in 17 August contests.
--RHP Shelby Miller (11-8, 2.97 ERA) makes his 24th start of the season and third against the Brewers in the opener of a three-game series at Miller Park. Miller is 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA in two previous starts against Milwaukee with just one run in 13 innings pitched. He threw just two pitches in a Aug. 7 start against the Dodgers, departing after a ball was lined off his right elbow. He returned on Aug. 14 against Pittsburgh and suffered a 5-1 loss.
--LHP Tyler Lyons was called up from Memphis on Saturday, replacing LHP Sam Freeman. He's 2-4 with a 5.35 ERA in seven starts this season for the Cardinals, but was added to bolster the tired bullpen.
--LHP Sam Freeman was optioned to Triple-A Memphis on Saturday. He had pitched in three of the previous four games.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "That was as good as he's been all season. He came out first and established all of his pitches and had great life. His curve ball was a sharp as we've seen and that made the difference and set the tone." -- Manager Mike Matheny on Adam Wainwright, who pitched seven innings of one-run ball and struck out 11 in Sunday's 6-1 victory over the Cubs.
MLB Team Report - St. Louis Cardinals - ROSTER REPORT
--C Tony Cruz (stress fracture in left forearm) went on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 15.
--LHP John Gast (left shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list May 26. Gast had season-ending surgery July 26, and he will need eight to 12 months of recovery time.
--LHP Jaime Garcia (left shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list May 18 and was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 30. He was diagnosed with a torn labrum, and he underwent season-ending surgery May 24. He expects to begin throwing in late August.
--RHP Jason Motte (muscle flexor strain in right elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list March 22, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 14. He had season-ending Tommy John surgery May 7.
--SS Rafael Furcal (Tommy John surgery in March 2013) went on the 15-day disabled list March 20, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 3. He is out for the season.
--RHP Chris Carpenter (nerve problem in right shoulder) went on the 60-day disabled list Feb. 22. He started a rehab assignment at Double-A Springfield on July 15, then pitched for Triple-A Memphis on July 20. On July 23, he announced that he was shutting down his rehab due to numbness in his right hand. He told MLB.com on Aug. 5 he is not optimistic that he will pitch this year.
RHP Adam Wainwright
RHP Jake Westbrook
RHP Lance Lynn
RHP Shelby Miller
RHP Joe Kelly
RHP Edward Mujica (closer)
RHP Trevor Rosenthal
LHP Randy Choate
RHP Seth Maness
LHP Kevin Siegrist
LHP Tyler Lyons
RHP Michael Wacha
1B Allen Craig
2B Matt Carpenter
SS Pete Kozma
3B David Freese
INF Matt Adams
INF Daniel Descalso
INF Kolten Wong
LF Matt Holliday
CF Jon Jay
RF Carlos Beltran
OF Shane Robinson