Roster moves shore up pitching
Ottavino officially recalled; MacLane joins bullpen as backup
CHICAGO -- The Cardinals made a pair of roster moves on Saturday, going with 13 pitchers for the time being as they adjust to the reality of having three rookie starting pitchers.
St. Louis officially recalled right-hander Adam Ottavino from Triple-A Memphis, formalizing a move that had been in the offing for two days. Ottavino started Saturday afternoon's game against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. He joins P.J. Walters and Jaime Garcia as inexperienced starters in the rotation with co-aces Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter.
Additionally, the Cardinals purchased the contract of lefty Evan MacLane from Memphis, giving them an eighth relief pitcher to protect a bullpen that manager Tony La Russa fears could be short-staffed in the coming days. MacLane can provide long relief, since he has been starting at Memphis.
"If you look at it half-full, Adam's got talent, and he might give you five or six winning innings," La Russa said before Saturday's game. "In which case ... we probably could put together three innings of bullpen to win the game. But if there's any kind of hiccup, the worst thing that could happen to our club, and I'm not even exaggerating that, in a losing game is to pitch relievers who should not pitch. Because there's a game tomorrow, and there's three more before there's an off-day.
"So we needed somebody that can give us some multiple innings. We asked, and they sent Evan."
To make room for the two additions, the Cardinals optioned right-handed reliever Fernando Salas and outfielder Joe Mather to Memphis.
La Russa said he does not expect the Cardinals to stay with 13 pitchers beyond their upcoming off-day on Thursday. If MacLane pitches multiple innings in one of the games before the off-day, he could be sent out for another reliever, but until and unless that happens, there is a good chance he'll be with the club through its upcoming series at home against Cincinnati.
Carpenter, La Russa catch hockey fever
CHICAGO -- Cardinals manager Tony La Russa had to think about it when he was approached about attending Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday night. Pitcher Chris Carpenter did not.
Carpenter, a high school hockey player and New Hampshire native, was grinning Saturday morning as he discussed the chance to see a Stanley Cup game for the first time. The Chicago Blackhawks are taking on the Philadelphia Flyers in a best-of-seven series. The first game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. CT.
"I don't know where my seats are," Carpenter said. "I'm expecting and hoping that they're going to be good, but I don't care. I'm looking forward to it."
Carpenter is friends with Philadelphia defenseman Chris Pronger, long a mainstay on the St. Louis Blues. Carpenter is be accompanied by several teammates, and said he has no rooting interest.
"I'm just looking forward to a fun game," he said. "Go there, enjoy the night, watch some awesome hockey."
La Russa, meanwhile, thinks very highly of Chicago coach Joel Quenneville, who once helmed the Blues -- and will be cheering for Chicago. The manager also knows people at the United Center, which is also the home to the NBA's Chicago Bulls.
Still, La Russa wasn't sure at first because of the tight turnaround between the 3:15 p.m. baseball game and the 7 p.m. hockey game. The more he thought about it, though, the more he liked the idea.
"I might even go if we lose," quipped La Russa, who has been known to bail on dinner arrangements and other appointments after losses.
Amaury Cazana homered, and Tyler Greene went 3-for-5, but a walk and a Ruben Gotay error set up the winning run for Albuquerque in the 11th as Triple-A Memphis lost, 6-5, on Friday. ... Gary Daley allowed four runs in 3 2/3 innings, and Eduardo Sanchez allowed four without getting an out in Double-A Springfield's 11-4 loss to Corpus Christi. ... Xavier Scruggs and Domnit Bolivar each had two hits, but Class A Palm Beach lost to Lakeland, 7-2. ... Class A Quad Cities was held to two hits in a 7-1 loss to Burlington. C.J. Beatty singled and walked.
The player of the day is Cazana, who did all he could to stave off a loss. The outfielder went 3-for-6 with a home run and three RBIs. On the year, Cazana, 35, is hitting .286 with a .308 on-base percentage and a .438 slugging percentage. The Cuban-born right-handed hitter was an 18th-round pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft.
Five Palm Beach Cardinals were named Florida State League All-Stars on Friday: catcher Tony Cruz, infielders Jose Garcia and Xavier Scruggs, outfielder Richard Racobaldo and pitcher Casey Mulligan, though Mulligan has already been promoted to Double-A Springfield. ... Adam Ottavino was the fifth Cardinals player to make his Major League debut in 2010. ... When the Cardinals opened Friday's game with six straight hits, it was the first time they had begun a game that way since May 15, 1994, when they did so against Montreal's Kirk Rueter.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.