With Stephen Piscotty and Jedd Gyorko gone, the Cardinals are playing with an extremely short bench on Tuesday night.
As Jim Hayes of FOX Sports Midwest first reported Tuesday, third baseman Jedd Gyorko left the St. Louis Cardinals roughly three hours before first pitch to be with his wife, who is about to give birth to their third child.
With the Cardinals, who are currently employing a 13-man pitching staff, having neglected to use MLB’s family emergency list when right fielder Stephen Piscotty returned to his home state of California last Friday, they were left with just 23 active players for Tuesday night’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Infielder Greg Garcia and catcher Eric Fryer were the only available position players not in the starting lineup, and with manager Mike Matheny traditionally preferring to avoid using his backup catcher as a pinch hitter, he may be forced to utilize pitchers as pinch hitters against Los Angeles.
The Cardinals’ Triple-A affiliate, the Memphis Redbirds, had a day game in Iowa that began at 12:05 PM and ran until about 2:30, so it would have been understandable if infielder Breyvic Valera had difficulty getting to Busch before first pitch (though if Gyorko plans on going on the paternity list tomorrow, it would have been beneficial to have him around as a potential pinch hitter tonight, even if he arrived during the middle of the game). However, their Double-A affiliate, the Springfield Cardinals, is at home and just a three-hour drive away, so it’s odd that they couldn’t get outfielder Magneuris Sierra to St. Louis in time for him to provide protection on Tuesday night.
Obviously, the Cardinals won’t be using the family emergency list to recall another player in Piscotty’s absence, but it should be interesting to see if a player is called up if Gyorko’s absence lasts beyond Tuesday.