St. Louis Cardinals Recall Xavier Scruggs, Place Jon Jay on DL


The St. Louis Cardinals made a roster move prior to Thursday’s series finale against the Cleveland Indians, recalling first baseman Xavier Scruggs from Triple-A Memphis and placing outfielder Jon Jay on the disabled list. Scruggs gives them a third bench player for Thursday’s game, as they’d already been operating short on the bench with 13 pitchers and four extra position players, while Jay’s injury and the extra player locked into the designated hitter position gave the Cardinals just two healthy extra position players in Pete Kozma and Tony Cruz.

After getting off to a hot start, the 27-year-old Scruggs has struggled a bit recently at Memphis. While he’s still doing a spectacular job of getting on base (.385 OBP), he has just a .229 batting average. He’s hitting just .147 over 11 games in the month of May. Scruggs, who was almost exclusively a first baseman up until this season, has spent much more time in the outfield this year, especially since the Cardinals added veteran first baseman Dan Johnson to their Triple-A roster. Scruggs has started eight games in left field and two in right this season for Memphis, compared to 19 starts at first.

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The trip to the disabled list will probably be in Jay’s best interest. Jay, who is dealing with a bruised thumb and pain in the left wrist that he had surgically repaired in October, was utilized as a pinch runner on October 10 in Pittsburgh but has not gotten an at-bat since May 9. He was seriously injured enough on Wednesday that the Cardinals had to insert Pete Kozma, who had a grand total of four career regular season innings in left field, to replace Matt Holliday after the starter was hit by a pitch and had to leave the game. It’s not as if Jay had been a major cog to the offense recently, either, as he had been hitting just .219 during the month of May.

One would think that purely for the sake of talent, but also because the Cardinals are now without a true fourth outfielder without Jay, that outfielder Randal Grichuk will be activated from the disabled list for Friday’s game against the Detroit Tigers. Grichuk, who has been rehabbing at the Cardinals’ minor-league facility in Jupiter, Florida, would have been hard-pressed to make it to Cleveland in time for Thursday afternoon’s game. Scruggs, meanwhile, was a bit closer with the Cardinals’ Triple-A team playing in Colorado Springs.

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