Mike Mayers, Randal Grichuk, and Luke Voit will join the Cardinals in advance of their Sunday night matchup with the Pirates.
The St. Louis Cardinals will make a major shakeup before Sunday night’s series finale with the Pittsburgh Pirates, turning over 12 percent of their roster. Outfielder Randal Grichuk and pitcher Mike Mayers will be recalled from Triple-A Memphis, while first baseman Luke Voit’s contract will be purchased.
Outfielder/first baseman Chad Huffman was optioned to Memphis. Dexter Fowler has been dealing with a quad issue and had played in just one game over the past three days, but he was placed on the DL with a right heel spur on Sunday. He was joined by lefthanded reliever Kevin Siegrist, who has a cervical spine strain. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com both played roles in breaking the news on Sunday.
While Grichuk and Voit will get the most hype, the decision to promote Mayers could be the most impactful. The 25-year-old righthander has thrived in Memphis’s rotation over the past few weeks, and with Michael Wacha struggling and set to start against the Cincinnati Reds Monday, it’s possible that the Cards could opt to start Mayers rather than Wacha.
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After struggling mightily during April, Mayers had rebounded in a major way since the beginning of May. He was at his best in June, posting a 0.72 ERA with a 0.88 WHIP, 29 strikeouts, and just four walks over four starts spanning 25 innings. It’s certainly also possible, however, that he could provide the team with a long relief option since Wacha, Adam Wainwright, and Lance Lynn have struggled to throw extended innings recently.
Grichuk returns after spending roughly a month in the minor leagues working to restore his confidence at the plate and trying to develop some plate discipline. The first goal evidently was achieved, as he hit six homers with a .917 OPS in 67 plate appearances at Memphis, though he struck out 20 times and walked only three times. He’ll likely be the club’s everyday left fielder with Fowler on the DL as Tommy Pham shifts to center.
The 26-year-old Voit, a St. Louis native who attended Lafayette High School and Missouri State University, has been the most exciting hitter in the Cardinals’ system this year, and though there’s no clear role for him on the major-league club as it’s currently constructed, he’ll get a shot to show what he can do as a pinch hitter and in spot starts at first. Voit, who looks much like a righthanded-hitting, pre-2017 version of Matt Adams, has posted a .322/.406/.561 slash line with 12 homers in 293 plate appearances at Memphis this season. He’ll get the big-league call despite never being invited to major-league spring training.