The Cardinals have recalled second baseman Kolten Wong from Triple-A Memphis after optioning him to the minors just 10 days ago. In his place, center fielder Jeremy Hazelbaker has been optioned to Memphis. Wong’s demotion was the culmination of a marked decline and came just three months after he’d signed a five-year, $25.5MM contract extension. After hitting just .222/.306/.286 through his first 144 plate appearances and losing the second base job — Matt Carpenter is manning that position with Jhonny Peralta handling third and rookie Aledmys Diaz playing shortstop — Wong went on an absolute tear in Triple-A; in 34 plate appearances there, he batted .429/.529/.929 with four homers while seeing quite a bit of action in center field. Hazelbaker was one of the most talked-about players in the Majors in April when he batted .317/.357/.683, but the 28-year-old has come back to earth and seen his playing time dwindle since.
Here’s more from the National League:
- Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein says that he “would love” to add a high-quality bullpen arm, MLB.com’s Cody Stavenhagen tweets. But the veteran executive also made clear that he won’t rush to the phones just because the bullpen has had some hiccups of late. Chicago looks to be set most everywhere else, so it makes sense that the club would look for ways to add impact in its relief corps, but there’s really no sense of urgency given the team’s excellent start.
- Shelby Miller will return to the major league hill for the Diamondbacks on Monday, Steve Gilbert of MLB.com tweets. Miller had been on the DL for a finger injury, though he was also looking to right the ship after an abysmal start to his career in Arizona. If the club has any hope of clawing back into the postseason picture, it’ll need Miller to turn things around.
- Dodgers lefty Alex Wood will begin throwing next week, a bit ahead of schedule, as JP Hoornstra of the Los Angeles News Group reports. The inflammation in his elbow has responded as hoped, it seems, though the real test will come as he ramps back up. Wood emphasized that he doesn’t have any structural issues. Still, he might not return to competitive action until mid-July, per the report, and that’s assuming he stays on a positive course. Presumably, it’ll be at least a bit longer before he’d be ready for the majors. Los Angeles has several key arms at various stages of the rehab pipeline.