Cards activate Piscotty ahead of Crew series

No. 6 prospect Bader optioned after 'very positive impression' in first callup

Cards activate Piscotty ahead of Crew series

MILWAUKEE -- Stephen Piscotty was activated from the 10-day disabled list ahead of Tuesday's series opener against the Brewers. The Cardinals cleared a spot on the 25-man roster for Piscotty by optioning outfielder Harrison Bader to Triple-A Memphis.

Piscotty missed 16 games while recovering from a strained right groin, an injury he sustained while making a throw in the team's first game back from the All-Star break. He readied for his return by appearing in four games during a rehab assignment with Class A Peoria (Ill.). He finished 3-for-15 with two doubles.

He used that stint not only to regain his timing but to continue working to shorten a swing that he believes had gotten too "loopy." He also used the time away to undertake new exercises designed "to help the muscle patterns get shorter and more compact."

"I felt the results," Piscotty said. "When I was on the DL, I was rehabbing my groin and doing all that, but I was also very keen on cleaning up some things. I felt like I was moving in the right direction, and things felt simpler and easier. Overall, it was really good."

The changes, Piscotty hopes, can help him forge a strong finish to what has otherwise been a frustrating season. He has been on the DL twice and is slashing .236/.348/.371 with an OPS+ of 90 in 69 games.

"For me, on the personal side, I just want to try and get hot here toward the end," he said. "My numbers are not going to be anywhere where I wanted them at the beginning of the year. I just want to finish strong and help this team get to the postseason and have a deep run. That's my mindset -- get on a hot streak, get rolling."

Bader made six starts in center field in his first opportunity with the Cardinals. Ranked as the organization's sixth-best prospect by MLBPipeline.com, Bader scored the game-winning run in his Major League debut and went 6-for-21 in the bigs.

"Obviously, it was a short look, but we got to see him a lot at Spring Training, and clearly, he's having a very successful season at Triple-A," president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said of Bader. "I would say all of us feel he's made a very positive impression."

The Cardinals are expected to feature a starting outfield of Piscotty, Tommy Pham and Randal Grichuk until Dexter Fowler (strained left forearm) is healthy. Mozeliak said the club is optimistic that Fowler will be ready to come off the DL early next week.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.