St. Louis Cardinals Keep Mitch Harris, Send Dean Anna Back to Triple-A


In a slightly surprising move, the St. Louis Cardinals elected to commit more firmly to a 13-man pitching staff on Friday, sending infielder Dean Anna to Triple-A Memphis as outfielder Peter Bourjos rejoined the team from paternity leave.

Anna, a 28-year-old infielder who came into this season with 12 games of big-league experience, had been called up to fill a bench spot at the beginning of this week when outfielder Randal Grichuk hit the disabled list with a back injury. He got just one at-bat during his short stint with the big-league club, filling a pinch-hitting role during yesterday’s game.

The general expectation was that Mitch Harris, a 29-year-old righthander, would stick around for just a few days to provide extra protection for the bullpen as the Cardinals gained an extra roster spot with Bourjos away from the club. However, it now appears that Harris will stick around for a while, since he survived while Anna was reassigned.

More from St. Louis Cardinals

While it may go against the spirit of putting everything on the line for a win, one thing that probably needs to be considered is that the Cardinals want to help Harris make history. Harris would be the first graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy to pitch in a big-league game since 1921, and since he didn’t make an appearance out of the bullpen during this week’s three-game series against the Washington Nationals, the Cards would probably like to get that milestone out of the way at some point this weekend.

More from Arch Authority

It’s feasible to see a scenario where Harris would pitch once and then be exchanged for a position player from Triple-A, such as Xavier Scruggs. With that said, it’s also wholly possible that Harris will remain in the big leagues and provide extra protection for the pitching staff until Grichuk is ready to return. After all, the Cardinals have now entered a period in which they’ll play 20 games in 20 days, and the Cardinals are averaging a rather pedestrian 6.4 innings per start from their rotation. Harris could take a bit of a load off guys like Jordan Walden and Seth Maness who have been used very heavily over the season’s first month.

Next: Blues Look to Take Commanding Lead Against Wild in Game 5