Greenwood summoned to provide bullpen depth

ST. LOUIS -- It took a long late-night drive, but Nick Greenwood has arrived in the big leagues.

The 26-year-old left-hander was promoted from Triple-A Memphis on Saturday night to boost the Cardinals' bullpen to 13 pitchers with reliever Carlos Martinez making a spot start in place of Adam Wainwright on Monday night.

After expecting to pitch in relief of Tyler Lyons, who was making a rehab start with Memphis, Greenwood's night quickly changed.

"About a half hour before game time, [manager Ron Warner] came up to me and told me to just hang in the dugout, because I think the plan was to pitch on Saturday to back up Lyons," Greenwood said. "Right before game time, he called me into the office and just told me I was coming up here."

The Cardinals expect to potentially need Greenwood out of the bullpen Monday with Martinez limited to 50-60 pitches. He has posted a 2.61 ERA in 41 1/3 innings this season with Memphis.

Greenwood was acquired in 2010 by the Cardinals in a three-team trade that brought Jake Westbrook from the Indians and sent Ryan Ludwick to the Padres. Greenwood came from the Padres to the Cardinals in the deal.

To make room for Greenwood, the Cardinals optioned outfielder Randal Grichuk to Triple-A, just two days removed from demoting Oscar Taveras.

Grichuk, in his second stint with the club this season, was hitting .136 in 19 games. The team wants both Grichuk and Taveras to get consistent at-bats in Triple-A, general manager John Mozeliak said Sunday.

After packing his bags at 7:15 p.m. CT and picking up a rental car, Greenwood began his drive to St. Louis. The destination that followed, with a possible Major Leauge debut, was worth it.

"It was a good four-hour drive," Greenwood said.

Alex Halsted is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.