photo: Harrison Bader (Jeff Curry/Imagn)
St. Louis Cardinals press release
The St. Louis Cardinals announced following their game this afternoon (Thursday, April 29) that they have activated outfielder Harrison Bader (right elbow) from the 10-day Injured List and recalled right-handed pitcher Kodi Whitley from the team’s Alternate Training Site.
In addition, the team placed pitchers Adam Wainwright and Andrew Miller (right foot, toe blister) on the Injured List.
Brian Walton’s take
After not pitching for 10 days, Miller appeared in back-to-back games on Wednesday and Thursday, with one good and one poor showing. The 35-year-old, in his second year of a two-year, $25 million contract, has been reduced to pitching mostly in low leverage situations.
Given a chance Thursday to protect a two-run lead in the seventh, Miller allowed extra base hits to two of three batters, with both eventually scoring. That increased his ERA to an unsightly 8.59 in 9 1/3 innings this season.
Even with Miller’s injury, the Cardinals still have left-handed relievers Tyler Webb and Genesis Cabrera active.
Coming off two strong starts (and a 4.08 ERA for the season), Wainwright was exposed to COVID via a family member and was deactivated as a precaution. While the 39-year-old will miss his Sunday start in Pittsburgh, he is expected to take his turn on Monday in New York. (There is no minimum or maximum stays for COVID IL members.) St. Louis’ Sunday starter is TBA.
Bader will be making his 2021 debut after suffering a forearm injury in spring camp. The Cardinals’ immediate plans may be to restore their original starting outfield of Bader in center, flanked by Tyler O’Neill and Dylan Carlson.
However, Bader has over 1,000 career MLB plate appearances and has yet to consistently hit right-handed pitching. At some point, he may start to lose playing time and become a platoon player. Second baseman Tommy Edman has seen considerable time filling in out on the grass while Bader was out. Justin Williams also played semi-regularly, but did not excel (.542 OPS in 75 plate appearances).
Whitley, 26, opened the season at the Cardinals Alternate Site. Called up to St. Louis from April 13 to 17, the right-hander worked 3 2/3 innings out of the bullpen, yielding two earned runs.
With these moves, the Cardinals have at least temporarily returned to their 13-13 mix between pitchers and position players on the active roster. However, when Wainwright is activated on Monday, another move will be required.
In fact, there could be a transaction on Sunday as well, depending on who is named to take Wainwright’s turn. For example, the Cardinals could call up Jake Woodford, or go with a bullpen game.
To track the status of the Cardinals’ 40-man roster as well as all players in the system by position and level, check out the Roster Matrix, always free and updated here at The Cardinal Nation. Also included is every player transaction across the full organization all year long.
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