As it had planned to do all week, the club reinstated catcher Gerald Laird from the 15-day disabled list prior to Thursday's game. To make room, Mark Hamilton was optioned to Triple-A Memphis. Additionally, the Cards optioned pitcher Brandon Dickson to Memphis and purchased the contract of pitcher P.J. Walters. To make room for Walters on the 40-man roster, pitcher Bryan Augenstein was designated for assignment.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the sequence was Hamilton being sent out. Instead of keeping the left-swinging first baseman, the Cardinals kept Tony Cruz on the roster as a third catcher. Cruz can also play first base and third base, and already has done so while in the big leagues.
"[We've] got a variety of ways to use [Cruz]," manager Tony La Russa said. "Plus he's done well. He's done a good job since he was here."
Walters was needed because of Wednesday night's 13-inning game in which the Cardinals used six relievers to pitch 8 2/3 innings. He was slated to start for Memphis at Round Rock on Thursday, but instead was notified late Wednesday night to come to St. Louis.