Cardinals add outfield depth with Winn
Club signs veteran free agent, options Jay to Triple-A Memphis
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals signed free-agent outfielder Randy Winn on Saturday and optioned outfielder Jon Jay to Triple-A Memphis.
The 35-year-old Winn was released from the Yankees on June 2. A switch-hitter, Winn was hitting .213 with a .300 on-base percentage and .295 slugging percentage in 71 plate appearances with New York.
"I cleared [waivers] yesterday afternoon and my agent said the Cardinals have interest," Winn said Saturday. "It just kind of built from there.
"This is a great place to play, I have played here on the visiting side, and I have always heard very positive things about the organization, about the manager from guys who have played here."
This will mark the 13th season and fifth team of Winn's big league career. He spent 2006-09 playing in the National League as a member of the San Francisco Giants.
Winn has not played in a game since May 22. Manager Tony La Russa said Winn would be available to back up all three outfield positions.
"I guess that will all play out, but kind of back up at all three outfield positions, come off the bench," Winn said of his role. "It is a first-place team, a good team, so I am just trying to blend in and help out any way I can."
Winn joins infielder Aaron Miles as the second veteran the Cardinals have signed for a bench role this week. An All-Star in 2002, Winn has hit .285 with a .344 on-base percentage and a .417 slugging percentage for his career.
Jay was hitting .302 with a .302 on-base percentage and a .442 slugging percentage in 45 plate appearances with the Cardinals.
"Once we saw that Randy had become available, we quickly reached out to him," general manager John Mozeliak said. "He is a veteran outfielder who we think will improve our depth. His versatility and experience should be a real nice fit for our roster."
Freese out Sunday after spraining ankle
ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals infielder David Freese will likely miss Sunday's game against the Brewers, and he is officially listed as day-to-day after spraining his right ankle in the sixth inning of St. Louis' 5-4 win over Milwaukee on Saturday.
Freese twisted the ankle approaching third base in the bottom of the sixth inning and was replaced by Aaron Miles.
"I was just watching the play -- you know, it was two outs -- getting ready to watch the throw and I was trying to feel for the bag and rolled it," Freese said.
"I will probably be able to hit, but we will see tomorrow. Two or three days at the most."
Cardinals shortstop Brendan Ryan was scratched from the lineup after batting practice as a precautionary measure for an injured groin. He is also listed as day-to-day.
"He felt a little tweak in his groin, a little pinch there," manager Tony La Russa said. "He said he could go, but we got all our infield guys together. ... Hopefully he can play tomorrow, but we didn't want to risk it today."
Walters available out of Cards' bullpen
ST. LOUIS -- Though the Cardinals' starting rotation remains up in the air for the Dodgers series beginning Monday, manager Tony La Russa did say rookie pitcher P.J. Walters would be available to pitch from the bullpen Saturday.
Walters struggled in his last outing, giving up seven runs and eight hits in four innings against the Reds.
"It is still undecided," La Russa said of his rotation. "We have got two games to play here first."
Walters pitched four innings and gave up two runs against the Angels in his only relief appearance of the season. In seven relief appearances last season, Walters gave up 14 runs through 12 innings.
"I just pitch when I am told," Walters said. "I'm ready any time. I've had my rest between starts."
La Russa juggling surplus of middle infielders
ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals manager Tony La Russa has a problem with the middle of his infield. Of course, it is the kind of problem most managers would love to deal with.
Between Felipe Lopez, Brendan Ryan and Skip Schumaker, La Russa must juggle three guys for two spots. And with Ryan starting to heat up at the plate -- 9-for-22 in his last 10 games -- the decision is becoming tougher each day.
"That is the best you can have -- when you want all three to play," La Russa said. "Yeah, that right now ... all three guys, they can be stars any night. So that is a very good situation for us."
While Schumaker found himself watching from the bench Friday night, it was Ryan missing the start Saturday afternoon as a precaution to a groin injury. La Russa has repeatedly said he likes Lopez's bat at the top of the order, but has also called Ryan a "special" defensive shortstop.
Lopez led off and Schumaker hit from the eight-hole Saturday.
ST. LOUIS -- Triple-A Memphis infielder Tyler Greene pushed his hitting streak to 14 games with two hits Friday in the Redbirds' 7-3 win at Oklahoma City. Allen Craig, Joe Mather and Bryan Anderson each drove in first-inning runs. Brandon Dickson (6-3, 3.34 ERA) allowed two runs over six innings to post his fourth consecutive victory. ... Brian Broderick (2-0, 2.57) tossed his first career complete game to lead the Double-A Springfield Cardinals to a 9-0 win at Corpus Christi. He allowed two hits and struck out five in his second appearance since being promoted from Class A Palm Beach. ... Palm Beach won its third straight with a 4-3 triumph at Clearwater on Friday. Nick Derba went 3-for-4 and was a triple shy of the cycle. ... Class A Quad Cities used an eight-run seventh inning to win, 15-8, at Lansing. Edgar Lara and Niko Vasquez led the way with three hits each.
After Friday's shutout, Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright has pitched at least six innings and given up three runs or fewer in each of his last 20 starts at Busch Stadium. It is the longest such home streak by any pitcher in big league history. ... Brad Penny's date to return from a strained right lat muscle is still up in the air. Manager Tony La Russa said he continues to make "good progress," but "we'd get lucky if it is next week [to start throwing bullpen sessions]. It'd be a great sign if he did." ... Chris Carpenter and Wainwright have gone a combined 30-4 against National League Central opponents dating back to the 2009 season.
Michael Bleach is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.