7/31/2013 9:14 P.M. ET
Cardinals quiet as Trade Deadline passes
By Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com
PITTSBURGH -- After weeks of considering upgrades to the rotation, bullpen and shortstop position, general manager John Mozeliak spent the last hours before the non-waiver Trade Deadline with his attention turned to the catching market.
The sudden shift in focus was dictated by Yadier Molina's exit from Tuesday's game with a sprained right knee. Initially uncertain about the severity of the injury, Mozeliak returned to his hotel room after the doubleheader sweep and began making calls. He reached out to a few clubs he believed might be willing to shop a catcher, and other teams reached out to him.
It made for a busier day than Mozeliak had anticipated, though the 4 p.m. ET deadline came and went without any Cardinals activity. Other than dealing demoted reliever Marc Rzepczynski to the Indians for a low-level Minor Leaguer on Tuesday, the Cardinals -- like their two main National League Central competitors -- were completely quiet.
"If you had asked me six days ago, I would have felt our team was playing really good baseball and that we have a good team," said Mozeliak, referencing the team's 0-6 skid. "I still feel that way. What we don't want to do is make a decision in a six-game vacuum. And in the end, I think we're going to be a better team and play to what we're capable of doing. When you look at how we could improve our club, we just didn't have a lot of access to those pieces that might have made a difference."
That includes the catching options. The Cardinals checked in on the Cubs' Dioner Navarro but ultimately hedged at meeting the asking price. Mozeliak also had a conversation with the agent for Kelly Shoppach, who opted out of his Minor League deal with the Nationals on Wednesday.
At around 1 p.m., Mozeliak learned the results of Molina's MRI, and the report of no structural damage lessened the Cardinals' need to act.
"When I got the news on Yadi, [it was] relatively positive, in the grand scheme of things," he said. "I still looked to see if there was some possible protection out there, but I wasn't overly aggressive on it. I'm not going to make an irrational decision on a knee jerk. I'm glad we didn't."
Though the Deadline has passed, the Cardinals can still find catching help -- or address another area -- in August. Players can be traded over the next month, though they have to first clear waivers. Teams can also make claims on the waiver wire in reverse order of the standings. A free agent such as Shoppach can sign anywhere since he is no longer under contract.
Seeing no glaring holes on a club with the NL's second-best record, Mozeliak approached the Trade Deadline differently than he did in each of the past two seasons. He surveyed the market for players the team could buy low on and also considered bigger deals that would have cost the organization coveted prospects.
A limited number of selling teams and little letdown in those teams' requests led Mozeliak to keep the Major League roster as is.
"Lots of things are talked about, discussed," he said. "But I never felt like we had any traction of anything significant. As you can see, as we sit here today, clearly it wasn't a robust Trade Deadline. The fact is that not a ton of players were offered."
Cardinals top prospects Oscar Taveras, Michael Wacha and Carlos Martinez were, as expected, among those targeted by other clubs.
"I feel like it is a vote of confidence for the talent we have in there, because we didn't feel like we were scrambling to add to it," Mozeliak said. "The last couple years, I think everybody would agree, we needed to do something. Trying to allow masses to dictate what's right or wrong can be dangerous. For us, the 25 guys in that room right now, they have to know we believe in them.
"We feel like we have a very good team. When you look at the opportunities that might have been out there to help us improve, everything comes with a price. We didn't feel the price was right."
Robinson placed on disabled list with strained shoulder
PITTSBURGH -- A strained right shoulder landed outfielder Shane Robinson on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday. That, coupled with Yadier Molina's move to the DL, led the Cardinals to call up outfielder Adron Chambers and first baseman/outfielder Brock Peterson.
Both Chambers and Peterson were in uniform for Wednesday night's game against the Pirates.
Manager Mike Matheny said that Robinson sustained the injury sliding back to first base on a pickoff attempt in Game 1 of Tuesday's doubleheader. Robinson had reached base with a walk in the pinch-hit appearance and ended the inning stranded at third. He did not appear in the second game.
Robinson, like Molina, flew to St. Louis on Wednesday for an MRI, which showed no structural damage. General manager John Mozeliak said that Robinson may not need the full 15 days to recover, but the team did not want to play short a bench player and backup center fielder for even a few days.
"I think the best thing is to give him a couple weeks to get recovered," Mozeliak said. "I'm hopeful it won't take him that long, but I just didn't feel comfortable, especially with our schedule, to go short."
The extra center fielder is now Chambers, who will be making his first appearance in the Majors this season. In 98 games with Triple-A Memphis, he batted .252 with a .338 on-base percentage and 15 stolen bases. After a four-hit game on Tuesday, he is 29-for-82 in July.
Peterson gives the Cardinals the right-handed bat off the bench that the team loses with Robinson out. Peterson returns to the big league club after only a few days away. He was optioned to Triple-A on Saturday when Matt Holliday returned from injury but did not have to stay the requisite 10 days, because the Cardinals made another DL move.
Peterson, who has hit a Pacific Coast League-high 23 home runs, went 1-for-7 during his previous stint with the team.
• Looking to jump-start his offense, Matheny flip-flopped Holliday and Allen Craig in Wednesday's lineup. Holliday batted cleanup for the first time this season, while Craig moved into the three-hole for the fifth time. Matheny did not commit to how he'll order the two after Wednesday.
"When you have trouble getting some production," Matheny said, "sometimes a minor change can make a difference."
• Matt Carpenter, who has started a team-high 98 games this season, was given the day off after playing all 20 innings of Tuesday's doubleheader. Carpenter, who has played every game since June 15, has just two hits in 24 at-bats on this road trip.
• Right-hander Michael Wacha, the Cardinals' No. 2 prospect as ranked by MLB.com, retired 17 of the 20 batters he faced while pitching six shutout innings for Triple-A Memphis on Tuesday. He struck out seven and allowed two hits.
• Center fielder Jon Jay had his errorless streak of 245 games snapped on Tuesday. The streak is the longest in franchise history for an outfielder. Curt Flood held the previous record, with 226 errorless games from 1963 to 1965.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.