Cardinals Activate Jedd Gyorko for Home Opener

photo: Jedd Gyorko (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images)

St. Louis Cardinals press release

Jedd Gyorko (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

The St. Louis Cardinals announced prior to today’s (Friday, April 5) series opener with San Diego, that they have activated infielder Jedd Gyorko (right calf strain) from the 10-day Injured List.  The team optioned infielder/outfielder Drew Robinson to Memphis (AAA) to make room for Gyorko on the 25-man active roster.

Gyorko, 30, has hit 61 home runs since joining the Cardinals in 2016, 2nd only to Matt Carpenter (81) in that time span.  The right-handed hitting Gyorko batted .389 against N.L. West clubs last season (ranking 2nd among all N.L. players), and he hit two of his 11 home runs in 2018 against his former team, the Padres.

Gyorko appeared in just five Grapefruit League games this spring, the last on March 3.  The left-handed hitting Robinson appeared in three games to begin the season with St. Louis.

Brian Walton’s take

Gyorko had remained behind in Florida to get more at-bats in minor league camp. However, with an entrenched St. Louis infield, he will almost certainly move into a reserve and pinch-hitting role.

With concern about Marcell Ozuna’s sore rib cage, there was a chance the outfielder might require a move to the injured list, but it appears that after a Thursday MRI, his injury is determined to not be that serious.

Both of Friday’s moves were expected. In fact, I found mention of Robinson being optioned out on Thursday evening.

Some seemed to think that there was a competition between Robinson and incumbent Yairo Muñoz and that the newcomer Robinson could have an advantage because he swings from the left side.

Drew Robinson (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

My take was different as Muñoz was the clear incumbent, having spent most of 2018 with St. Louis. He had done nothing to lose his roster spot.

The very brief early results, through six games, indicate Robinson was 1-for-3 with a strikeout. Muñoz is 1-for-4 with a walk, two strikeouts and a run scored.

Memphis’ corresponding roster move has yet to be announced. Robinson’s ability to play the outfield should be helpful for a Redbirds team that has two outfield starters on the injured list.

On the other hand, the Memphis infield is already overloaded and seems a likely source for a roster cut. First baseman John Nogowski and third baseman Evan Mendoza are the most recent additions from Springfield and one of them could be on the bubble. We should have the answer Friday afternoon.

Update Friday afternoon

The player sent down from Memphis was another of the recent promotees from Double-A. I did not expect an outfielder to go, but along with Robinson, first baseman Rangel Ravelo can also play in the outfield.

To make room at Springfield, outfielder Shane Billings was reassigned to extended spring training (State College roster).

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