Cards recall Garcia with Carpenter on paternity list

Cards recall Garcia with Carpenter on paternity list

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals were without third baseman Matt Carpenter for Wednesday's 9-8 loss to the Cubs and are expected to be without him through Friday's game at Washington because of the birth of his first child.

Infielder Greg Garcia was recalled from Triple-A Memphis to fill Carpenter's roster spot.

Carpenter's wife, Mackenzie, went into labor early on Wednesday, prompting Carpenter to send a pre-dawn text message to manager Mike Matheny to let him know he would be spending the day at a St. Louis-area hospital. She gave birth to a healthy baby girl during the Cardinals' finale vs. Chicago.

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Carpenter was placed on the paternity list on Thursday. He can remain inactive for three games, but general manager John Mozeliak said he expected the third baseman back for Saturday's game.

In Carpenter's absence, the Cardinals will have to find a temporary replacement for the leadoff spot. On Wednesday, that assignment went to Kolten Wong, who went 1-for-5, and on Thursday, Jeremy Hazelbaker got the start atop the lineup. Ruben Tejada started in place of Carpenter at third base Wednesday, and Garcia played the position Thursday.

Garcia, 26, began the season on the Cardinals' Opening Day roster and appeared in eight games before being optioned to Memphis on April 18. The left-handed-hitting Garcia batted .600 (6-for-10) with a home run and two RBIs in his earlier stint with St. Louis. He was batting .269 (28-for-104) with eight RBIs in 30 games at Memphis.

"He's a guy that was hard to send down when we did, but numbers just led that direction," manager Mike Matheny said. "He went down and worked and stayed ready. He's a versatile player that we can plug in just about anywhere."

Garcia played mostly shortstop at Triple-A but asked to get some starts at second and third base in preparation for a potential callup. Entering Thursday's game, he had played 85 1/3 Major League innings at shortstop, 84 innings at second base and only 16 1/3 innings at third.

Though he is most comfortable playing shortstop, Garcia said he's not worried about adjusting to third.

"I don't think they're that different," Garcia said. "I've got enough experience at third where I feel pretty comfortable."

Garcia owns a .355 career batting average (11-for-31) as a pinch-hitter with two home runs.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast.

Alex Putterman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.