Cardinals Add Thomas and Oviedo for O’Neill and Woodford

photo: Johan Oviedo (Jim Rassol/USA TODAY Sports)

St. Louis Cardinals press release

Johan Oviedo (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today (Sunday, April 11) that they placed outfielder Tyler O’Neill on the 10-day Injured List with a right groin strain and recalled right-handed pitcher Johan Oviedo and outfielder Lane Thomas from the Alternate Training Site. Additionally, the team optioned right-handed pitcher Jake Woodford to the Alternate Training Site following yesterday’s game.

O’Neill, who was removed from yesterday’s game with right groin tightness after grounding out in the second inning, was hitting .143 (4-28) with a home run and three RBI in eight games.

Woodford appeared in two games this season, allowing two runs with four strikeouts in 4.0 innings.

Brian Walton’s take

Lane Thomas (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

The right-handed hitting Thomas lost out on a roster spot to open the season to Austin Dean and John Nogowski. The 25-year-old Thomas has joined Sunday’s lineup against a left-handed pitcher as the Cardinals’ center fielder.

Fill in CF Dylan Carlson returns to his regular home in right, with Dean taking over for O’Neill in left.

However, with three right-handers ahead in the Washington series, manager Mike Shildt told the media Sunday morning that he will “adjust accordingly” his outfield in those contests.

While Thomas had been with the team on its taxi squad during the season-opening road trip, Shildt said he got in additional at-bats at the alternate camp the past few days.

With the Cardinals still remaining with 13 pitchers and 13 position players instead of adding another pitcher, having a long relief man with innings to offer is the main reason Oviedo is up. (This is especially timely with less-proven Daniel Ponce de Leon and John Gant making the next two starts.)

Oviedo was scheduled to oppose Kwang-Hyung Kim in his simulated game today at the alternate site, so he is ready to step in immediately if needed. At the alternate camp, the 23-year-old Cuban native has remained stretched out as a starter. He is The Cardinal Nation’s ninth-ranked prospect for 2021.

On the prior road trip, relievers Seth Elledge and Kodi Whitley traveled with the team as taxi squad members.

Other news

Harrison Bader (Jasen Vinlove/Imagn)

Center fielder Harrison Bader has not yet been cleared to swing a bat or throw. He has been participating in baseball activity at the alternate camp, such as tracking fly balls and remaining engaged with St. Louis’ defensive plans. His return date is still several weeks away.

Struggling cleanup hitter Paul DeJong has been moved down in the lineup to fifth, with Yadier Molina placed in the number four spot on Sunday. Shildt praised his catcher’s ability to “take quality at-bats based on the situation.”

Starting second baseman Tommy Edman could still see outfield starts ahead, as Shildt reaffirmed he “likes” him in the lineup. Matt Carpenter took over at second in several games in Miami based on “positive matchups” per Shildt, with Edman moving to the outfield grass. The situation will remain “fluid” based on matchups ahead, said the manager. The 35-year-old Carpenter is in his 12th MLB season.


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Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnation.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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