Cards recall Jay as Ludwick heads to DL

Cards recall Jay as Ludwick heads to DL

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals made official on Saturday what was known on Friday, placing outfielder Ryan Ludwick on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to June 26, with a left calf strain.

The question was who would take Ludwick's spot on the roster. To fill the opening, St. Louis recalled outfielder Jon Jay from Triple-A Memphis.

"We all discussed it, and he's playing well and he fits well," manager Tony La Russa said.

Ludwick last played eight days ago, on June 25 in Kansas City, and he first suffered the injury on June 22 in Toronto. He would be eligible to come off the DL on July 11, the last day before the All-Star break, but La Russa said there is no way Ludwick will play before the break. Ludwick was jogging on a treadmill as part of his rehabilitation on Friday when he aggravated the injury.

"You just deal with it," said a disappointed Ludwick. "It's part of the game. No one likes to go on the DL or be hurt, but what are you going to do? I feel like that Astroturf [in Toronto] got me. It's a tough break. I'll try not to worry about it, rehab, and get ready to go after the All-Star break."

For Jay, 25, it will be the second stint in the Major Leagues. The lefty-swinging outfielder is hitting .321 at Memphis this year with a .394 on-base percentage and a .491 slugging percentage as well as 13 steals in as many attempts. He was a second-round Draft pick in 2006. Jay's emergence as a moderate power threat has been a boon to his all-around game. He always ran well and hit for average, but this season he has added extra-base pop.

"They've always questioned me with that, since I've been young," he said. "I think it's one of those things, as you get older, you start getting a little smarter. You start knowing yourself a little bit better. I've been capitalizing on pitches over the middle of the plate where I can drive them. I'm just trying to work, trying to get my overall game better."

Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.