Following Chris Cotillo's reports earlier today that Jeremy Hazelbaker was being promoted to the St. Louis Cardinals from Memphis, there was speculation that either a backup catcher or the recently injured Jhonny Peralta would be victims of the corresponding roster move. As it turns out, as first reported by MLB.com Jenifer Langosch, both are the case, as the Cardinals placed Jhonny Peralta on the 15-day Disabled List and demoting backup catcher Michael McKenry. In turn, the Cardinals have promoted both Hazelbaker and relief pitcher Miguel Socolovich.
Peralta, the Cardinals' shortstop over the past two seasons, missed the first two months of the 2016 regular season with a thumb injury and it appears that he has re-aggravated the injury. McKenry, a 31 year-old journeyman backup catcher, had only two plate appearances in the Majors with the Cardinals, but they appear ready to go forward in the immediate future with Alberto Rosario as Yadier Molina's backup.
Socolovich pitched well in 28 appearances with the Cardinals last season, yielding a 1.82 ERA and a 2.76 FIP. In 35 appearances this season with Memphis, he has a 2.79 ERA and a 3.47 FIP, and with the team's recent struggles with relievers, the club may depend on Socolovich as a stabilizing force.
Meanwhile, Hazelbaker has flashed at the very least competence across the outfield and may see time spelling Matt Holliday, Randal Grichuk, Tommy Pham, and Stephen Piscotty, as previous outfield backup plan Kolten Wong may be relied upon increasingly at second base, as yet another injury to a Cardinals infielder means the team has fewer options as far as infield depth goes.