8/9/2014 12:40 A.M. ET
Cards put Motte on DL, recall Greenwood
By Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com
BALTIMORE -- Though Jason Motte has been used inconsistently as of late anyway, he will not be making any appearances for the Cardinals until at least Aug. 17, after being moved to the disabled list due to lower back tightness. The DL stint is backdated to Aug. 2, the day after he made his most recent appearance.
Motte did not travel with the club to Baltimore, but did explain, via text, that he first felt back soreness on Tuesday and had been undergoing treatment since then. He played catch before Thursday's game and "felt OK," but informed the Cardinals midgame -- after his back wouldn't loosen up during another game of catch -- that he would not be able to pitch in relief.
With the Cardinals already concerned about overusing Trevor Rosenthal and Pat Neshek, the club determined it didn't want to go any longer with another man short in the 'pen. That prompted the team to move Motte off the active roster and recall lefty Nick Greenwood from Triple-A for Friday's game.
Manager Mike Matheny said the Cardinals expect Motte to be cleared to return as soon as he is eligible to come off the DL.
"I believe it's not going to be that many days," Matheny said. "Then he'll be able to go get some work and be sharp when we bring him back."
That work would come during a rehab assignment with one of the organization's Minor League affiliates.
Motte did insist that the back issue is entirely unrelated to his sliding across a wet tarp at Busch Stadium during Thursday's rain delay. Matheny also shied away from attaching any correlation between the two.
"Apparently, he didn't feel anything while he was doing that," Matheny said. "It's not necessarily part of our program. I don't know what exactly instigated or went into that, but what we do know is that it is something that had been bothering him for a while. Then, later in the day, it tightened up."
Since missing the first seven weeks of the season while wrapping up his rehab from Tommy John surgery, Motte has posted a 4.91 ERA in 24 appearances. His biggest nemesis has been the home run ball, as Motte has served up seven in 22 innings.
Greenwood called up, immediately needed out of 'pen
BALTIMORE -- Even though the Cardinals will use a DH throughout this three-game series in Baltimore, manager Mike Matheny said the club did not consider using Jason Motte's move to the disabled list to summon a hitter from Triple-A.
Instead, the Cardinals chose to stick with a seven-man bullpen and filled the vacancy with lefty Nick Greenwood.
"We need the arm," Matheny said. "With [Trevor] Rosenthal and Pat [Neshek] both being used heavily, we have to make sure we're covered with arms. Nick Greenwood has done a terrific job with whatever we've asked him to do. Having that long guy does give us the ability to use these guys in different roles."
That was what Matheny had to say before the Cardinals' 12-2 loss to Baltimore, and he looked like a soothsayer later after watching his bullpen have to cover six innings. Greenwood, in his second stint with the big league team this season, handled three of those.
He did allow four runs on four hits, but Greenwood saved the rest of the 'pen from being too overworked.
"Huge," Matheny said of the outing. "It's a shame [the final line doesn't look good] because he made some good pitches. He hung a couple that ended up costing him. This kid comes out and gets some big outs for us."
During his previous call-up, Greenwood pitched at least two innings in six of his nine appearances. Upon returning, he was immediately designated as the team's long reliever after staying stretched out over the past few weeks in Memphis.
"I was just doing what I had been doing, throwing strikes, getting outs," Greenwood said of his time away. "The main thing they wanted was to make sure I was still stretched out in case something happened."
The Cardinals were able to get creative with his pitching schedule because he arrived during a stretch in which Triple-A Memphis was playing 15 games in 12 days. Greenwood started two doubleheader games (lasting three innings in each) and then pitched in relief three times. He threw 16 pitches in an appearance for Memphis on Thursday, before throwing 47 on Friday.
Matheny doesn't anticipate roster moves after rout
BALTIMORE -- Manager Mike Matheny is admittedly a perpetual optimist, so it's no surprise that he took a moment to highlight what he saw as a few positive developments amid an otherwise ugly 12-2 loss to the Orioles on Friday.
The Cardinals' timing in summoning Nick Greenwood from Triple-A couldn't have been better, as the club immediately leaned on him for three innings of relief. Matheny suggested afterward that Greenwood's ability to get the game through the fifth likely prevents the team from having to make another roster move before Saturday's game.
Trevor Rosenthal, Pat Neshek and Kevin Siegrist all had the night off, making each available for the second game of the series. Randy Choate and Seth Maness made quick work of their respective innings, so they, too, should be fresh. Even if Greenwood and Sam Freeman (who threw 30 pitches in a laborious sixth inning) are unavailable on Saturday, Matheny could likely make work with a bullpen of five.
Matheny is also hopeful that there will be benefit from his being able to get several starters out of the blowout midgame. Jhonny Peralta, Matt Carpenter and Matt Adams all exited after five innings. Rest was needed by all three. Carpenter had started 42 straight games and all but two this season. Peralta and Adams had started 25 and 26 in a row, respectively.
"It's not a real good list of accomplishments, but still, I think we'll make the most of it," Matheny said. "Maybe the little bit of time for those guys to get off a half a game pays off."
The other side of that, of course, is that Matheny was also able to get his bench involved. He used all 13 position players and found multiple innings in the field for Daniel Descalso, Mark Ellis, Tony Cruz and Shane Robinson.
• With the designated hitter in play again for the Cardinals, manager Mike Matheny used his first DH assignment since mid-June to give Matt Holliday a day off from playing the field. With Holliday sliding into the DH role, Peter Bourjos and Jon Jay both found their way into the outfield.
• The Cardinals announced on Friday that they have traded Triple-A right-hander Angel Castro to the Athletics for cash considerations. Castro, 31, went 9-6 with a 4.01 ERA and 1.293 WHIP in 26 games (14 starts) for Memphis this season. Because Castro had been taken off the 40-man roster earlier in the year, he did not have to pass through waivers.
• Dennis Martinez, the decorated Nicaraguan Major Leaguer who also spent a few years coaching in the Cardinals' farm system, stopped by Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Friday to catch up with some of his former pupils. Several of them, including Kevin Siegrist, Seth Maness and Trevor Rosenthal, posed for a group picture with Martinez, who left the organization after the 2012 season to become the Astros' pitching coach.
• Memphis left-hander Tim Cooney became the first pitcher in the Pacific Coast League to win 11 games after he helped the Redbirds defeat New Orleans on Thursday. Cooney allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits in six innings. He struck out six and walked none.
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.