Carpenter, Shreve and Knizner Rejoin Cardinals

photo: Matt Carpenter (Benny Sieu/USA TODAY Sports)

St. Louis Cardinals press release

Matt Carpenter (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today (Thursday, July 11) that they have activated infielder Matt Carpenter (lower back strain) from the 10-day Injured List, purchased the contract of left-handed pitcher Chasen Shreve from Memphis (AAA) and will recall rookie catcher Andrew Knizner from Memphis tomorrow when they open the season’s second half with a weekend series against Arizona.

Chasen Shreve (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

The team also announced that catcher Yadier Molina (right thumb tendon strain) has been placed on the 10-day Injured List, retroactive to July 8, and have optioned left-handed pitched Tyler Webb and first baseman/outfielder Rangel Ravelo to Memphis.  The team also transferred pitcher Jordan Hicks from the 10-day Injured List to the 60-day Injured List to make room for Shreve on the team’s 40-man Major League roster.

Andrew Knizner (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

Carpenter has been sidelined since June 29, last making a game appearance on June 28 as a pinch-hitter.  Molina pinch-hit on July 6, but hasn’t started a game since July 3.  He missed 12 games from May 29 to June 10 while on the Injured List with the right thumb strain.

Shreve, who turns 29 tomorrow, appeared in 20 games for the Cardinals last season after coming over in a three-player trade with the New York Yankees on July 28.   He went 1-2 with a 3.07 ERA in 14.2 innings pitched with St. Louis in 2018 and owns a career mark of 15-8, 3.66 ERA in 215 games pitched with Atlanta, the Yankees and St. Louis.

Shreve was 2-1 with a 3.80 ERA in 37 games (42.2 IP) for Memphis this season, striking out 50 and walking just 19.   Since June 1, he’s posted a 1.72 ERA (15.2 IP) with 21 strikeouts and just three walks in 15 games for Memphis.

Knizner, 24, made his Major League debut on June 2, and appeared in two games (0-for-7) for the Cardinals during his earlier call-up (May 31 to June 10).

The right-handed hitting rookie is batting .277 (56-for-202) with 7 HR’s & 24 RBI in 53 games for Memphis, earning selection to the Pacific Coast League All-Star team.

Shreve wears uniform no. 40 and Knizner is no. 7.

Brian Walton’s take

Only the Webb and Carpenter moves were telegraphed, though it was clear that Molina’s ongoing hand injury had taken a turn for the worse when Matt Wieters started behind the plate in the final pre-break series in San Francisco. The rookie Knizner will back Wieters up until Molina’s return.

For the club to keep a second left-hander in the bullpen behind Andrew Miller, Shreve returns to the 40-man roster and the 25-man active roster after having been dropped from both earlier this season.

On the other hand, right-hander Mike Mayers remains in limbo, otherwise known as minor league rehab with Memphis. The team’s easy 60-day IL move of Hicks to clear a 40-man roster spot was used on Shreve, not Mayers.

The 27-year old rookie Ravelo’s story of perseverance continues back in Memphis with the return of Carpenter to the active roster. By remaining with St. Louis this long, Ravelo missed the Triple-A All-Star Game, but he likely isn’t complaining.

The major question heading forward is how much rookie standout Tommy Edman will get to play now that Carpenter is back. The veteran leadoff man has been in a deep slump that ran during the entire first half.

In fact, note how Carpenter’s career-worst 2019 stats were not included in the above release. In 326 plate appearances over 77 games, the 33-year old slashed .216/.325/.381/.706, for an OPS+ of 88, or 12 percent below MLB average. Carpenter has just 28 RBI this season, eighth on the Cardinals.

Jose Godoy (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

A legitimate question remains how much rope Carpenter will be given if his struggles continue in the second half – as his team languishes around .500 yet the division remains there for the taking.

As a result of these transactions, Memphis’ roster remains whole, with Knizner and Shreve replaced by Ravelo and Webb.

However, with the Redbirds down to just one catcher, Joe Hudson, and with a roster opening, they received backstop Jose Godoy from Springfield. The 24-year old was also with Memphis from May 31 to June 12, while Molina was on the IL previously and Knizner moved up. While down a player, the Double-A Cards have two catchers in Brian O’Keefe and recently-returned Chris Chinea.

While St. Louis does not begin post-break play until Friday, the Triple-A Redbirds open their (logical, not mathematical) second-half Thursday evening. So now, the rosters are set – for one day, at least.

For more

To track the Cardinals’ draft picks, the 25- and 40-man rosters 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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