We expected the Cards to make a roster move at some point soon to make room to activate IF Jedd Gyorko from the 10-day IL for tomorrow's home opener. There was a distinct possibility that the Cards would place LF Marcell Ozuna on the 10-day IL. He was scheduled for an MRI today, and was a late scratch from last night's game with tightness in his right side. Shildt had also states that the club was worried that he had an intercostal strain.
Unless the Cards make another move before tomorrow's game, it appears that Ozuna's MRI has checked out, because the Cards optioned UT Drew Robinson to AAA Memphis before that club's home opener this evening. As of this writing, there is no notification on the twitter page of the Cards' themselves, Post-Dispatch beat writer Derrick Goold, or Jen Langosch, the Cards' beat writer on MLB.com. I was chatting with VEB user Alacor in one of the comments section on this page, and he asked why Drew Robinson was listed on Memphis's bench. I had the Memphis Gameday page up, and noticed it. I then confirmed it with the Pacific Coast League transactions page, the Memphis Redbirds roster section of their homepage, and then the Cards' transaction page. So hat tip to Alacor for bringing it to my attention.
Without an IL move available, the choice of whom to option to make room for Gyorko came down to Robinson or Yairo Munoz. Despite the Cards opening the season with a 5-man bench for the first time in a few years, neither player has been used much at all--so little in fact that their usage can be summarized below
Game 2: Entered the bottom of the 9th in a double switch to play 3B when Hicks came in to pitch to the Brewers with a 9-5 lead
Game 3: Pinch-hit for Wong in the bottom of the 9th with 2 out and the team down 4-2 to the Brewers. Blown away on 3 pitches by Josh Hader
Game 5: Entered the game to play LF against the Pirates in a double switch with 2 out in the bottom of the 7th when Andrew Miller relieved Dominic Leone. This move to remove our cleanup hitter was almost certainly made at the time because Ozuna was hobbling after fouling a pitch off of his foot, and the Cards were concerned about defense with the Cards down 1 run. Got a cheap infield single off the pitcher's glove and scored the game-tying run on O'Neill's double. He then walked on that Bad News Bears play where Wieters was thrown out at home after a wild pitch.
Game 6: Pinch-hit for Miller in the bottom of the 9th against the Pirates with the game tied 3-3 and 2 out. Struck out by Kyle Crick.
Game 4: Pinch-hit for Wacha in the 7th inning with 1 out when the Cards had a 4-1 lead that they would later lose. Popped out to short.
Game 5: Pinch-hit for Wainwright in the top of the 5th with a man on 1st and the Cards down 4-0. Struck out by Jameson Taillon.
Game 6: Pinch-hit for Mikolas in the top of the 6th to lead off the inning with the Cards down 3-0. Popped out to 3rd.
While Munoz has played a tad in the field, Robinson has not. Despite playing in the field, Munoz has not had to make a play on defense yet. And yet, this move may come down to is defense. Robinson and his .303/.373/.569 slash line were better last year at the AAA level than Munoz was in either of his spins at that level. I haven't had a chance to see Robinson play much other than a bit in spring training. Both he and Munoz were showcased all over the diamond in spring at a variety of positions. Most agree, however, that Munoz has one of the strongest arms on the team, and with Fowler and Ozuna hobbling a tad, there may be a play where Shildt will need to rely on Munoz's arm out there in some capacity.
Let me know in the comments what you think of the move, and other than a DFA of Fowler or Ozuna, what you would have liked to see done here.