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Cardinals call up Jackson for infield depth

Cardinals call up Jackson for infield depth

Cardinals call up Jackson for infield depth
PHILADELPHIA -- Ryan Jackson heard his teammates talking, but the infielder wasn't sure exactly what the trade of Tyler Green from the Cardinals to Houston meant for him. Granted, Jackson was sitting in the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport during a layover with Triple-A Memphis and was still shaking off sleep from the flight in from Fresno moments earlier.

"I had just gotten off the plane and heard guys talking," Jackson said. "They told me about the trade and I was like, 'OK, man -- whatever.' Then my manager came over and told me I was coming up."

Jackson -- ranked as the Cards' No. 17 prospect by MLB.com -- returned to Memphis for the night, one in which he admits he tried to shut his eyes but never really slept, and then went to Philadelphia, where he will fill a utility infield role off the bench for St. Louis.

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The University of Miami product, who played primarily shortstop but did have chances at second and third for Memphis this season, gives the Cardinals some added depth and replaces what amounts to a disappointing stint for Green with the Cardinals. Jackson hit .269 with a .331 on-base percentage and .398 slugging percentage. Add in 10 home runs, 23 doubles and 45 RBIs, and Jackson gives the Cardinals an option against lefties late in games.

"The first day is always a big deal," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "It's not a courtesy trip. He's going to be put to use and hopefully help us move forward. He impressed us through the spring and he's been consistent, especially lately."

"My dad was on his way to work and I told him he had to reroute and head to Philly," said Jackson, who will have his father, mother and grandfather at Citizens Bank Park for his first game in a Cardinals uniform. "I wasn't thinking about anything but playing as hard as I could. I just came every day and worked hard and tried not to think about [getting the callup.] I just report for duty."

Mike Radano is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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