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Cardinals promote Jeremy Hazelbaker

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After a hot start to the 2016 season, Hazelbaker was demoted to Memphis. And now he returns.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

As first reported by SB Nation and MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo, the Cardinals have promoted Jeremy Hazelbaker from the Memphis Redbirds to the big league club. Hazelbaker, a career minor leaguer who was not considered much of a prospect, got off to a torrid start to 2016, belting seven home runs in 135 plate appearances; however, his bat began to cool and he was eventually sent to Memphis, where he has a 156 wRC+ this season.

The corresponding roster move is not yet known. Michael McKenry or Alberto Rosario make sense, as the Cardinals do not really need multiple backup catchers for Yadier Molina, whom they give a well below average number of days off. The extent of Jhonny Peralta's thumb soreness, which kept him out of yesterday's game against the San Diego Padres, is not yet known but is worth monitoring in light of this move.

Hazelbaker probably isn't the superstar he looked like in very brief stretches to start the season but he has shown competence, if not excellence, as a utility outfielder or pinch hitter.