Cards bringing back Gonzales for twin bill

Cards bringing back Gonzales for twin bill

ST. LOUIS -- With the opportunity to add a 26th player to the active roster for Saturday's doubleheader against the Cubs, the Cardinals have chosen to summon left-hander Marco Gonzales and have him make his fourth career start.

Gonzales will start the second of the two games, with right-hander Justin Masterson tapped to face Felix Doubront in the afternoon contest. Gonzales, 22, had been scheduled to start for Triple-A Memphis on Friday. He is ranked by MLB.com as the Cardinals' No. 3 prospect.

"He's had a nice run down in Memphis, and looking at our options without having to reshape our bullpen or shuffle it, being able to insert him for that one game made a lot of sense," general manager John Mozeliak said. "Being up for the first time, he can put that behind him and use that as a learning curve and take advantage of that. I think from how he's been pitching and been able to accomplish, he's obviously someone we felt confident and comfortable with giving him this start."

Gonzales made his Major League debut on June 25 and pitched three times for the Cardinals before returning to Memphis. None of his starts were longer than five innings, as he combined to allow 11 earned runs on 21 hits and 11 walks in 14 innings. Gonzales, the organization's first-round pick in the 2013 First-Year Draft, is still seeking his first big league win.

Since the demotion, Gonzales has gone 4-1 with a 3.35 ERA in eight Triple-A starts. He has won four straight decisions and threw six scoreless innings in his most recent outing on August 24.

"He did a nice job while he was here," manager Mike Matheny said. "There were things we wanted to see him work on, and hopefully he's improved to make himself a little more well-rounded."

With Gonzales' Major League inexperience and Masterson's recent troubles, the Cardinals have protected themselves by keeping an extra pitcher on the roster for the doubleheader. Instead of returning to a five-man bench upon Yadier Molina's return, the Cardinals opted to retain an eight-man bullpen and send catcher Tony Cruz to Springfield for the final four days of the Double-A season.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.