St. Louis Cardinals Place Matt Adams on DL, Recall Ed Easley


The St. Louis Cardinals placed first baseman Matt Adams on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a quad strain that he suffered while running the bases in Tuesday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The loss of Adams will push Mark Reynolds into an everyday role at first base, and as we detailed last night, that could quickly cause a regression to the mean for Reynolds, who is making contact and getting on base at a significantly greater role than he typically has during his career while playing in a reserve role for the first time.

The Cardinals recalled catcher Ed Easley from Triple-A Memphis, who will get another chance to finally make his major-league debut at 29 years of age after nine years of professional baseball. Easley was previously with the big-league club during the first weekend of the season, as he filled in for backup catcher Tony Cruz as he went on paternity leave. Easley, however, did not play in any games and was demoted to Memphis before he got the opportunity to make his debut. Easley is hitting .295 with a team-leading .422 on-base percentage and a .400 slugging percentage at Memphis. Easley has three homers and 18 RBI while splitting time behind the plate with lefthanded-hitting catcher Cody Stanley, who was also briefly with the major-league club earlier this season.

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With Easley being promoted to the major leagues rather than either of Memphis’s first basemen, Xavier Scruggs or Dan Johnson, it likely means that Yadier Molina will become Mark Reynolds’ primary backup at first base. Molina has played 32 career games at first, and now that he’s 32 years old, giving him an occasional start at first would be a good way to keep him fresh while keeping his bat in the lineup. Easley would be another option besides Cruz, the primary backup, if the Cardinals chose to shift Molina over to first.

The Cardinals could also use Matt Carpenter, who played 44 games at first base as part of his utility role in 2012, as the backup first baseman. However, moving Carpenter over to first would force Pete Kozma into the lineup at third base. If Kozma, Kolten Wong, or Jhonny Peralta were to be removed from the game for any reason, Carpenter would have to be moved back to third since the Cardinals have no other backups at the position.

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It’s possible that Easley’s stay could be short, as outfielder Jon Jay is expected to return soon after completing a rehab assignment with the Low-A Peoria Chiefs. When Jay returns, they could demote Easley and stick with the roster composition of 13 pitchers and four bench players that they’ve maintained for most of this season. With that said, the Cardinals seemingly need another player capable of playing the infield for depth purposes. Even though the retention of Easley would only give the Cardinals the freedom to play Molina at first base or plug in Tony Cruz around the infield in a pinch, it would prevent them from having to rely on Pete Kozma as the backup at all four infield positions, since none of the club’s outfielders have any experience in the infield.

Next: What's the Cardinals' Plan to Replace Matt Adams?