"It's an opportunity for him to bank a little money, and I'm sure he'll be a free agent at the end of the year," Jocketty said. "He may come back here and play in the States, or he may play over there.
"He still could [have been] a viable candidate to be a pinch-hitter in September, but we didn't want to stand in the way of him getting an opportunity."
Initially held back by questions about his fielding, Gall became a more capable fielder. Yet he never seemed to find the organization's favor, and he was passed on the organizational chart by Skip Schumaker and Chris Duncan. He was a Triple-A All-Star in 2004 and was rated as the Cardinals' sixth-best prospect by Baseball America after 2003.
Gall went 3-for-12 in a brief look in St. Louis earlier this year. He was batting .287 with a .361 on-base percentage and a .408 slugging percentage at Memphis in 2006.
Bennett returns: As expected, Gary Bennett made his return to the starting lineup on Tuesday. Bennett has been limited for three weeks as a result of a left oblique strain. He was pressed into service shortly before the All-Star break, when Yadier Molina sustained a concussion, then suffered a setback in his recovery, partly as a result of returning to play too soon.
Bennett said he's much further along than he was at that point. He started two games and played much of a third in Houston.
"Huge difference," he said. "I'm not feeling it at all. In Houston I was still bothered by it. After the first day, the second day it hurt a little worse and the third day it was even more aggravated."
Crossing Hudson: Manager Tony La Russa played the matchups in Tuesday's lineup, sitting Juan Encarnacion against Atlanta right-hander Tim Hudson. Encarnacion carries a 3-for-17 lifetime mark against the former Oakland hurler. In Encarnacion's absence, Duncan moved over to right field, while Scott Spiezio started in left. Spiezio entered the game 14-for-42 (.333) with four doubles against Hudson.
"Juan's had some trouble with this guy, and Scott's had success," La Russa said.
Minor matters: Nick Webber of high Class A Palm Beach was named the Florida State League's pitcher of the week for his three-hit, one-run complete game win over Daytona on Saturday. ... Right-hander Cory Meacham has been promoted from low Class A Quad Cities to Palm Beach. Meacham went 8-5 with a 3.16 ERA, 51 strikeouts, 29 walks and five homers allowed in 99 2/3 innings at Quad Cities.
This date in Cardinals history: On July 18, 2001, the Cardinals lost a truly wild game at what was then known as Enron Field. After falling behind the Astros, 6-1, the Cards rallied. After a six-run fifth, they led by an 8-6 count. But Houston met that with eight runs in the bottom half of the inning and went on to beat St. Louis, 17-11. Thanks to Project Retrosheet (www.retrosheet.org) for the information.
Baby 'Birds: Memphis was shut out again on Monday, this time by Round Rock in a 2-0 loss. John Webb allowed three hits and struck out five over seven shutout innings before the Express rallied against Memphis' bullpen. ... Double-A Springfield was off Monday. ... Colby Rasmus doubled, walked and drove in two runs, and Matt Shepherd had three hits, but Palm Beach lost, 5-4, to Daytona. ... Quad Cities scored its only run in the first inning, losing, 2-1, to Wisconsin in 12. Tyler Norrick pitched six solid innings, and Shane Robinson went 2-for-5 with a run. ... Donnie Smith allowed two earned runs and didn't issue a walk over six innings, but short-season State College lost, 7-3, to Staten Island. ... Brandon Buckman homered in rookie-level Johnson City's 11-3 loss to Elizabethton.
Player of the day: Webb, who certainly deserved better. The right-hander is 4-7 with a 4.38 ERA on the year. He's allowed just five home runs in 117 innings. Webb signed with the Cardinals as a Minor League free agent over the winter.
Coming up: The Cards wrap up their homestand, and their series against the Braves, with a 7:10 p.m. CT game on Wednesday. Chris Carpenter will take the mound for the home club, opposed by Jason Shiell, who will be making his first appearance for the Braves.