ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals returned to a 12-man pitching staff on Monday, optioning left-hander Evan MacLane to Triple-A Memphis and recalling outfielder Allen Craig from Memphis.
Craig, 25, made the Cardinals' Opening Day roster but scuffled at the plate in part-time duty, going 1-for-18. He was optioned in late April but is now back for a second stint in the Majors. Craig hit .275 with a .345 on-base percentage and .382 slugging percentage in 28 games at Memphis. Those numbers reflected improvement after a slow start at Triple-A following his demotion.
"We asked for help, and that's who they recommended," manager Tony La Russa said. "He's got his stroke going. He's still in position where he needs a lot of at-bats, but we're just going series to series, week to week right now."
MacLane had been summoned from Memphis to provide depth over the weekend for the Cardinals' bullpen but did not appear in a game. He rejoined the Triple-A starting rotation, taking the ball for Memphis on Monday afternoon.
Just as noteworthy as the move was the corresponding non-move. The Cards kept Adam Ottavino on the Major League roster rather than sending him out after his start on Saturday in Chicago. La Russa confirmed that Ottavino is scheduled to receive a second start, on Saturday against Milwaukee. Adam Wainwright will pitch on Friday against the Brewers, with Jaime Garcia getting the series finale on Sunday.
"He did all right," La Russa said of Ottavino. "He did pretty good. I think he did better than pretty good, actually. When he hits his delivery and his timing together, he can pitch."
Lohse in good spirits following surgery
ST. LOUIS -- Kyle Lohse walked into the Cardinals' clubhouse on Monday afternoon in good spirits but with an enormous wrap covering nearly his entire right arm, all the way down to the base of his fingers.
Lohse underwent surgery on his right forearm on Friday, and Monday was the first time he rejoined his teammates since the operation. The procedure will allow the muscles in his right forearm to operate without any kind of infringement from the sheath around those muscles. Lohse believes that once he has rehabilitated, he will be able to pitch at the same level he did before he was first injured last season.
"I should be back 100 percent," Lohse said.
Although the procedure is believed to be the first of its kind performed on a baseball player, Lohse said he had no hesitation to undergo it once he had all the facts. A prior report that he could have pitched in relief without surgery was inaccurate, he said.
"Once they figured out what it was, [it] wasn't like I could go pitch for short periods of time," Lohse said. "What was happening was blood and whatever else was swelling was getting in that muscle. It wasn't coming out of it, so when you have that, you have possibility of doing nerve damage, damage to the blood vessels and damage to the muscle itself. So you are talking about doing more serious damage then you already have. ... I asked the doctor if there was any chance of me doing short relief, stuff like that, and every time, there was a chance of doing permanent damage."
Lohse believes a return timetable of approximately two months is reasonable, but the schedule is ultimately murky.
"I don't know if anyone really knows anything," he said. "The doctor said 6-8 weeks, because no one has ever had it. I have heard other people talking about 12. I think that is a little bit much, considering we didn't do anything to the muscle, it's just the fascia. They did end up doing a little bit more than I originally thought, so I got a nice scar."
Cardinals honor veterans on Memorial Day
ST. LOUIS -- America's pastime honored America's heroes on Monday in a fashion both know a little something about: tradition.
With an estimated 300 current and former servicemen and women in attendance, the Memorial Day crowd at Busch Stadium was treated to a ceremonial first pitch by Army Captain Nathan White, a marching band performance from the Louisburg High School March Wildcat Band and a medley of the Military service anthems, along with the classic national anthem.
Both active military members and veterans stood up to thankful applause during the proceedings, before settling in to enjoy the battle between the top two teams in the NL Central, the Reds and Cardinals.
Vasquez shines for Quad Cities
ST. LOUIS -- Brandon Dickson pitched seven strong innings and Amaury Cazana went 3-for-4 as Triple- Memphis beat Albuquerque on Sunday, 5-3. Dickson allowed two runs on eight hits, striking out three and walking one. ... Matt Carpenter stayed hot with a homer and a walk, but Kyle Mura and Tom Eager struggled on the mound and Double-A Springfield lost to San Antonio, 6-2. Springfield pitchers issued 11 walks, six of them by Eager in 2/3-inning. ... Xavier Scruggs homered and walked and Jermaine Curtis reached base three times for Class A Palm Beach, which beat Lakeland, 5-4. ... Class A Quad Cities unloaded for seven extra-base hits in a 14-5 win over Burlington. Edgar Lara homered and drove in four runs and Ryan Jackson went 3-for-6.
The player of the day is QC's Niko Vasquez. Starting at third base, Vasquez went 3-for-5 with two doubles, a walk, two RBIs and a run scored. Vasquez, 21, is batting only .234 on the year, but with a .423 on-base percentage and a .441 slugging percentage. He was a third-round Draft pick in 2008.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. Michael Bleach is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.