St. Louis Cardinals Activate Jon Jay from Disabled List, Option Miguel Socolovich


The St. Louis Cardinals have activated outfielder Jon Jay from the disabled list. The team had made room for Jay yesterday by optioning righthanded relief pitcher Miguel Socolovich to Triple-A Memphis.

The 30-year-old Jay, who opened the season as the Cardinals’ starting center fielder, will likely assume more of a reserve role upon his return. Jay, who has been out since May 10 with a recurrence of pain in the wrist he had surgically repaired this offseason, is hitting .248/.330/.267 with no homers and six RBI in 101 at-bats this season. Meanwhile, righthanded-hitting Peter Bourjos, the player Jay unseated in center last season, has hit .272/.341/.420 with a homer and six RBI in 81 at-bats, while Randal Grichuk has hit .308/.333/.615 with two homers and eight RBI in 52 at-bats. Those two will likely get more starts than Jay in center going forward, though Jay could still get some starts against righthanded pitchers who he matches up well against.

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Another option for Jay, albeit unlikely, would be to start working out at first base. Especially since he’s a lefthanded hitter, Jay could provide a platoon presence for now-starter Mark Reynolds, who took over a full-time role earlier this week following what is likely a season-ending injury to starter Matt Adams. Jay has played just four innings over two games at first professionally, coming with the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds, but St. Louis Baseball Weekly’s Brian Stull tweeted on Friday that Jay is open to playing first and already has his own mitt. With a career slugging percentage of just .390, Jay may not have the requisite power to be effective as a first baseman, but he at least could provide an option as an emergency backup at first and give the Cards a little bit more positional flexibility on the bench.

It wasn’t exceptionally surprising to see Socolovich optioned to Triple-A, even though he’s been quite effective when pressed into duty. Over seven appearances, Socolovich was 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA, a WHIP of 0.78, a .179 batters average against, eight strikeouts, and one walk. While those numbers are pretty impressive, Socolovich pitched primarily in mop-up duty and wasn’t really thrown into any crucial pressure situations, thus the preference for fellow in-season call-up Mitch Harris, who despite his 4.26 ERA, 1.74 WHIP and .286 opponent batting average has generally been able to get out of more higher-leverage situations.

With Jay back on the roster, the Cardinals will go back to a standard roster alignment of 12 pitchers and 13 position players for the first time since April 30.

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