Final callups give Cardinals strategic options

Final callups give Cardinals strategic options

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals made their final three September callups on Tuesday, and while merit certainly figured into the decisions, players weren't added strictly as a reward for good seasons. Instead, each of the three new arrivals could factor as a tactical option for manager Tony La Russa.

Outfielder Adron Chambers, who has never been in the Major Leagues before, offers speed and defense. Catcher Tony Cruz provides a pinch-hitting option, a quality defensive catcher and allows the Cardinals to substitute between their top two catchers more aggressively.

Only shortstop Tyler Greene figures to get any sort of extensive playing time, as the club ponders what to do about its starting shortstop job for 2011.

"To be used as needed," La Russa said of the callups. "They all have something they can do to help us. It depends on how the games will be played."

The three new additions join pitchers Brandon Dickson and Maikel Cleto and outfielder Shane Robinson as callups since Sept. 1, when Major League rosters are permitted to expand beyond 25 players. Only Chambers had not been in the Majors before.

"I'm with the greatest organization in the world," said Chambers, who entered Tuesday night's 4-2 win as a pinch-runner in the eighth inning. "Just being a part of that, to have my name on the back of a jersey, I'm trying to soak all that stuff in. Take it, do what I'm supposed to do, and make the most of it. ... I'm happy. You're probably going to see me smiling all day. I'm just trying to take it all in and have fun."