Knizner Set to Debut

(Busch Stadium) Rookie Andrew Knizner will make his Major League debut this afternoon, calling the signals for Adam Wainwright as the St. Louis Cardinals look for the series sweep against the Chicago Cubs.

“You’re talking about a guy with a lot of experience in this league who can kind of shepherd Andrew a little bit,” Cardinals Manager Mike Shildt explained. “I think it’s important to have that kind of presence. Last night, it kind of felt like it was a double-header that Wietey caught, so made some sense after an extra inning game.”

The 24-year old Knizner had his contract purchased from Memphis (AAA) on Friday when Yadier Molina was placed on the 10-Day Injured list.

“It was quick, I started driving and next thing you know I was seeing the Arch,” Knizner said of his drive from Memphis to St. Louis. “It all happened so fast. I was talking to so many people on my drive up–old coaches, family. I talked to my mom, I think she called me like 15 times, just giving her a bunch of information. Just talking the whole way up. It was a good drive, one of the best drives I’ve ever had.”

Both mom and dad, along with sister, uncle, a high school, and his girlfriend and her family will all be in attendance today to watch Knizner make his debut.

Last night’s three hour and thirty seven minute rain delay added to the actual game time of just over three hours last night, which has led Shildt to make a few other adjustments to his usual lineup:

Harrison Bader, CF
Paul DeJong, SS
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
Marcell Ozuna, LF
Jose Martinez, RF
Jedd Gyorko, 3B
Kolten Wong, 2B
Andrew Knizner, C
Adam Wainwright, P

Following the Cardinals off-day tomorrow, rookie Genesis Cabrera will make his second MLB start. Dakota Hudson will take the ball on Wednesday, followed by Miles Mikolas on Thursday to close out the series against Cincinnati.

REYES BACK IN MEMPHIS

–As expected, the St. Louis Cardinals have officially transferred Alex Reyes from Palm Beach (A+) to Memphis (AAA). The right-hander will make the start this afternoon for the Redbirds and could then be in position for a return to St. Louis.

“I wouldn’t rule it out,” Shildt said. “I wouldn’t say it’s something that, quite honestly, we’re saying needs to happen and even if he throws well it will happen. But I wouldn’t say it’s not impossible either.”

Reyes began the season in the Cardinals bullpen, but was optioned to Memphis on April 7th. Following a stint on the 7-Day Injured List with a broken left pinky finger, the 24-year old returned to the rotation at Palm Beach and threw 77 pitches in his last outing.

“We’d lean towards him being a starter,” Shildt said. “I don’t want to box us in, but yeah, being a starter.”

In his two starts at Palm Beach following his activation from the IL on May 23rd, Reyes went 0-1, with a 1.93 ERA (2 ER/9.1 IP) to go along with 11 strikeouts and just three walks.

photo credit: Joe Hudson

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