A right shoulder contusion is the primary injury that sent Ankiel to the DL, but the truth is that the outfielder has a great deal of soreness all over his body and would not be ready to play baseball in the next few days. That fact, combined with the 13-man pitching staff St. Louis is currently carrying, led to a roster move.
"I just think that by the time he's going to feel well enough to practice and get himself back in shape, days will have passed," manager Tony La Russa said. "And there's a threat that he would be impatient or we would be impatient to pinch-hit him or something like that, which would be unfair. We're playing short anyway."
To take Ankiel's roster spot, the Cardinals purchased the contract of outfielder Shane Robinson from Triple-A Memphis.
Robinson, a Florida State University product, enjoyed a rapid rise this spring. He was not invited to Major League Spring Training. However, late in spring, teams often call up non-roster players to fill out their squads in exhibition games. Robinson received several such assignments, and played well each time.
"It's been pretty awesome how things have come about," Robinson said. "I tried to stay positive and open-minded about things, not really focused on what the possibilities could have been, or where I was going to be at. I just wanted to play to my ability and do what I can and hopefully things would work out. But I never imagined this would happen this soon. I'm as happy as I can be to be here."
Robinson was hitting .345 with a .410 on-base percentage and a .473 slugging percentage at Memphis. He is not likely to play extensively for the Cardinals, but he could get the occasional start against a left-handed pitcher. Robinson also will likely be used as a pinch-hitter, and possibly at times as a defensive replacement.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.