05/23/12 8:14 PM ET
Cards call up Hill to replace Carpenter
By Jenifer Langosch and Mike Still / MLB.com
Catcher Steven Hill had his contract purchased from Triple-A Memphis, and arrived in time for Wednesday's series finale against the Padres at Busch Stadium.
"Any time you can get back up here, it's amazing," said Hill, who traveled from Tucson to St. Louis on Wednesday to be in uniform in time for the game. "I really didn't expect it at all. It was a big surprise. I'm pretty happy to be here."
Hill, who entered Wednesday's 6-3 victory over the Padres as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning and went 0-for-1, has been added to both the 40-man and 25-man roster, making both full. Hill is hitting .257 with four homers in 19 games for Memphis.
"[Steven's] got a good power bat," said Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams, who's spent time with Hill in Memphis earlier this season. "He knows the strike zone pretty well, and I think he's going to come up here looking to hit. He's good defensively too, whatever position. He played a lot of positions down there in Memphis, so whatever the team needs here, he'll be the guy for it."
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said Hill had been called up mainly because of the way he had been swinging the bat. But Hill is also an asset defensively because of his versatility. Hill could see time at first, behind the plate and in the outfield, Matheny said.
Matheny also said catcher Tony Cruz could get more playing time in a utility role, and Daniel Descalso could play first, as well. The manager also hasn't ruled out the possibility of moving catcher Yadier Molina to first base for a day or two to give him some rest.
Oblique strain sends M. Carpenter to DL
ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals manager Mike Matheny can still recall when he strained his oblique muscle back in 1998, while playing with Milwaukee. Matheny said the pain of the injury brought him to his knees every time he sneezed.
It's the same injury that put Cardinals infielder/outfielder Matt Carpenter on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday.
Carpenter exited Tuesday night's game against the Padres in the first inning with pain he described as a "knife in [his] rib" after hitting a double down the left-field line.
Carpenter was initially hopeful that the injury wouldn't put him on the DL, but an MRI exam on Wednesday showed otherwise.
"I think he's got a really high pain tolerance, to where it didn't seem like that big a deal, but it is," Matheny said Wednesday.
Carpenter said the muscle was more sore Wednesday morning than it was Tuesday night. However, Carpenter added that he has more mobility than most others who endure the same injury and hopes to make a speedy recovery. He said he'll still continue to lift weights regularly.
"I've always been a guy who always goes after it in a hard fashion," Carpenter said. "And they've tried to pull the reins back on me a little bit to make sure that I take care of it and not let it be something that lingers all year."
The Cardinals called up catcher Steven Hill from Triple-A Memphis to replace Carpenter on the 25-man roster. Carpenter is the sixth Cardinal to be placed on the DL since May 16.
Matt Adams is expected to get the majority of starts at first base until Carpenter and/or Allen Craig (left hamstring strain) return from the DL.
"It's just part of the gig," Matheny said. "I think we knew that going in...we're not immune, and that's just part of it."
Cardinals get $9.1 million to spend on picks
ST. LOUIS -- As determined through a formula set in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Cardinals will have $9.1311 million to spend on their first 14 picks of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, which begins on June 4.
Those 14 picks are spread out over the first 10 rounds of the 40-round amateur Draft. The Signing Bonus Pool, which is a new Draft constraint, is calculated in advance to allow teams to know how much money they can cumulatively allocate toward signing bonuses for Draft picks without being penalized.
Players selected after the 10th round do not count against this Signing Bonus Pool unless they receive a bonus of more than $100,000.
The Cardinals will make two first-round selections and another three during the sandwich round, which occurs between the first and second round. Each of those picks, as well as all others through the first 10 rounds, have been assigned a value. Those values, when summed, equal the team's Signing Bonus Pool.
The Cardinals' first pick will come at No. 19 overall and has been given a value of $1.9 million. The team will also chose 23rd ($1.775 million), 36th ($1.4304 million), 53rd ($969,700) and 59th ($870,600) on the first day of the three-day Draft. Clubs do not have to stick to those figures with each individual pick. It is the sum of all the picks that is the important figure.
The Cardinals' pool of $9.1311 million is the fourth-largest in baseball this year, which is the result of the club having so many compensatory picks. St. Louis received two compensation picks for losing Albert Pujols and one each for Edwin Jackson and Octavio Dotel leaving as free agents.
Lance Berkman was scheduled to undergo surgery on his right knee on Thursday morning but the procedure was postponed until Friday due to a conflict in his surgeon's schedule in Houston, Texas. The procedure will determine whether Berkman will need to have surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament in addition to the scope he will have to repair a torn meniscus. If Berkman's ACL has been torn or compromised, he will miss the rest of the 2012 season.
Third baseman David Freese returned to the lineup on Wednesday after two days away to fix some issues with his swing and clear his mind. Matheny threw batting practice to Freese on Tuesday and said he came away encouraged by what he saw.
"I know that his body and mind got a rest," Matheny said.
With his third career shutout on Tuesday night, Adam Wainwright tied Chris Carpenter and Jaime Garcia for the most by a Cardinal since the start of the 2007 season. Wainwright made 17 starts in between his second and third shutout. The Cardinals had not shut out an opponent in 2012 prior to Tuesday, while the Padres have now been shut out three times.
The Phillies have set their rotation for a four-game series at Busch Stadium that begins on Thursday. Their starters, in order, will be Joe Blanton (4-4, 3.74 ERA), Cliff Lee (0-2, 2.66 ERA), Kyle Kendrick (0-4, 5.23 ERA) and Roy Halladay (4-4, 3.58 ERA). Halladay will be opposed by Wainwright.
Matheny watched outfielder Allen Craig do some movement exercises in the weight room on Wednesday and said that Craig looks to be "getting closer." Craig, who is on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain, is eligible to come off on June 1.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. Mike Still is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.