Notes: Perez gets call, Reyes optioned

Notes: Perez gets call, Reyes optioned

ST. LOUIS -- Timo Perez received some very good news when he got "the call" to come join the Cardinals for their weekend series against the Cubs, but by extension, Perez's addition to the roster meant decent to good news for a number of Cardinals.

Perez, 31, had his contract purchased from Triple-A Memphis prior to Friday night's Cardinals-Cubs game. That much was known well before the game. The corresponding move, however -- optioning Anthony Reyes to Memphis -- was telling in a number of ways.

First, it indicated that the Cardinals hold out some optimism that center fielder Jim Edmonds may return sooner than later. Second, it was a sign of confidence in Chris Carpenter, who will likely take a turn in the rotation next week. It obviously wasn't good news for Reyes, but the rookie right-hander knew he wasn't long for the Majors either way.

Edmonds has an abdominal wall strain that has kept him out of the starting lineup for a week. It was expected that he would be placed on the DL on Friday, but instead, the club bought a little more time by sending out Reyes. Still, with Edmonds out and Scott Spiezio battling an upper respiratory illness, the St. Louis bench was short.

Enter Perez, who made a splash in the 2000 National League Championship Series as a New York Met -- against the Cardinals.

"I can remember back in 2000, where he ended up giving the Mets an important boost with a lot of energy and tough at-bats," said manager Tony La Russa. "Since then, wasn't he on the White Sox club last year? I think he's a guy that's got winning experience, and he impressed people at Triple-A, so I would think his talents are still alive and playable."

Perez was batting .318/.375/.508 (average/on-base/slugging) in 37 games for Memphis. He was chosen over Skip Schumaker and Chris Duncan.

"He was the guy that's playing the best, and that's what you preach," La Russa said.

Perez addressed reporters with a well-known translator: MVP Albert Pujols.

"He was working hard down there and hopefully waiting for this call and just wants to take advantage of every situation," Pujols said. "He knows his job is to get better, and hopefully get better to get called up here to help the team."

Edmonds reported that he was feeling much better Friday than earlier in the week, but he's still uncertain when he'll be able to run. He can swing a bat but cannot run.

"I really don't know until I actually get out there," Edmonds said. "I played for three days with it, and I was able to do my job. It just kind of hurt at the end of the day or end of the run. But it was there. It seemed to be getting worse each day, so I don't know what it was going to be like."

Carp closer: Carpenter threw a bullpen session on Friday afternoon and came through it well, reporting no discomfort. The only remaining question is whether he'll still feel as good on Saturday, but it would be surprising if he had any complications.

"When I wake up tomorrow, I'll see how I feel," Carpenter said. "When I go out and play catch tomorrow, I will see how I feel."

Pitching coach Dave Duncan watched the throwing session, along with La Russa. Neither man would tip his hand as to which day Carpenter will return to the rotation, but Tuesday seems the safest bet. If the Cards wait until Wednesday, they would need to call up a starter or go with a "bullpen game" in Tuesday's contest against the Reds.

"He threw the ball good and he felt good, and that's what was important," Duncan said. "His stuff was good, so he should be good to go."

Carpenter has missed two starts due to an inflamed bursa sac below his right shoulder.

Eckstein cleared: David Eckstein is still feeling some soreness on his left wrist where he was plunked in the 11th inning on Wednesday, but Eckstein was in the lineup on Friday night for the 53rd time in 54 games. Eckstein took a ball right off the strap of his batting glove.

"Just sore to the touch, but that's it, though," he said. "I felt good today."

La Russa chatted with his leadoff man before the game and liked what he was told.

"I checked with him, and he's sore, but he's got strength," La Russa said.

Minor stars: Three members of the Palm Beach Cardinals have been named Florida State League all-stars and will represent the eastern division in the FSL all-star game. Starter Blake Hawksworth, reliever Mike Sillman and outfielder Terry Evans were all rewarded for strong starts.

This date in Cardinals history: On June 2, 1967, an emerging star of a left-hander, Steve Carlton, shut down the Cubs in a 2-1 win at Busch Stadium. Carlton went the distance, allowing three hits and two walks and striking out six. Lou Brock hit a two-run homer off Curt Simmons for the only Cardinals runs.

Baby 'Birds: Triple-A Memphis lost, 10-4, to Round Rock after the Express scored eight runs in the third inning Thursday. Former Cardinal Joe McEwing hit a grand slam off Alan Benes that provided most of the runs. ... Stuart Pomeranz lost his second straight start at Double-A Springfield, allowing four runs in 5 1/3 innings in a 4-1 defeat to Midland. ... Class A Palm Beach defeated Dunedin at Roger Dean Stadium as Hawksworth pitched seven innings, allowing one run. ... Class A Quad Cities captured its third straight win, defeating Beloit, 8-5. Mark McCormick allowed two runs in five innings to snap a five-game losing streak.

The player of the day is Hawksworth. The all-star right-hander delivered another sterling performance for Palm Beach. Overall, Hawksworth is 5-2 with a 2.23 ERA in 11 starts.

Coming up: The I-55 series continues on Saturday afternoon at 3:05 CT as Mark Mulder (5-3 4.52) looks to rebound from his worst start of the season against Cubs veteran left-hander Glendon Rusch (1-5, 7.05).

Matthew Leach is a reporter for Conor Nicholl is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.