Cardinals Place Bader on IL, Add Rookie Thomas

photo: Harrison Bader (Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports)

St. Louis Cardinals press release

Harrison Bader (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

The St. Louis Cardinals announced prior to today’s (Wednesday, April 17) series finale in Milwaukee that they have placed outfielder Harrison Bader (right hamstring strain) on the 10-day Injured List, retroactive to April 14, and recalled rookie outfielder Lane Thomas from Memphis (AAA).

Thomas, 23, will be making his Major League debut with his first game appearance.  The right-handed hitting Thomas was batting .229 (8-for-35) with 5 RBI in 11 games at Memphis this season, collecting 10 walks to go along with a .383 on-base pct.  He had made six starts in left field and five in center field for the Redbirds.

The Knoxville, Tenn. native was originally drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 5th round of the 2014 draft and was traded to the Cardinals on July 2, 2017 in exchange for International Cap Space.  Thomas led all Cardinals minor league players in home runs (27) and RBI (88) in 2018 between Springfield (AA) and Memphis (AAA).

Thomas has been assigned uniform no. 35.

Brian Walton’s take

Lane Thomas (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

The Cardinals have decided that Bader is not going to be ready soon enough, making him the second outfielder to go on the IL in the last two days (following Tyler O’Neill on Tuesday). The addition of a true center fielder in Thomas should enable the team to move hot-hitting Dexter Fowler back to right field. In addition to his demonstrated power, Thomas has good speed, is a solid baserunner (62 career steals at a success rate of 66 percent) and a plus defender in center.

Thomas was both a mid- and post-season Texas League All-Star with Springfield in 2018 and played in the Arizona Fall League afterward. This spring, he injured his side early in big-league camp and was sent to minor league camp upon his return. Thomas had been added to the 40-man roster in November to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft.

Thomas, The Cardinal Nation’s seventh-ranked prospect, is the second top 10 prospect to be called up to St. Louis in two days, following the Tuesday addition of TCN’s no. 6-ranked player, right-handed pitcher Ryan Helsley.

Cardinals Bring up Trio from Triple-A, Including Prospect Ryan Helsley

Wednesday afternoon updates

Memphis received an immediate roster replacement with the addition of right-hander Chris Ellis, up from extended spring training (EST).

Last week, the right-handed pitcher, who had been a Rule 5 acquisition in December, was returned to the Cardinals from Kansas City.

The other addition, to get the Redbirds up to 25 active players, is catcher Francisco Pena, who had also been in EST since the end of spring training. He becomes Memphis’ third catcher, joining Andrew Knizner and Joe Hudson.

Royals Return Rule 5 Pick Chris Ellis to Cardinals

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