Scruggs earns his first Major League callup
Xavier Scruggs will join the Cardinals in Milwaukee on Thursday to give the club additional coverage at first base behind Matt Adams.
Scruggs, 26, was expected to be among the organization’s second wave of players called up when Triple-A Memphis’ postseason run ended. It seems, though, that Adams’ recent struggles prompted a speeding up of that timetable. Since hitting a home run on August 22 (his first homer in more than a month), Adams has been on a 5-for-44 skid during which he’s collected one extra-base hit and struck out 14 times.
Manager Mike Matheny recently spelled Adams a day off, but Matheny has been limited in replacement options since the club dealt Allen Craig to the Red Sox. Daniel Descalso and Mark Ellis, who was just cleared to return after nursing an oblique injury, were Adams’ primary backups. Neither is a natural first baseman.
Scruggs, who will be making his Major League debut when he takes the field, spent the entire 2014 season with Memphis, where he hit .286/.370/.494 with 29 doubles, 21 homers and 87 RBIs. He ranked fifth in the Pacific Coast League in RBIs, seventh in runs scored (82) and 14th in extra-base hits (53). Scruggs ended the PCL regular season by hitting safely in 38 of his last 50 games.
Scruggs will join Randal Grichuk as another right-handed power bat off the bench for Matheny. He hit .350 against left-handed pitching this season, compared to a .259 mark against righties.
The Cardinals have not announced what corresponding roster move they will make in order to add Scruggs to the 40-man roster. While the club does have one current opening on its 40-man roster, it is needed for Michael Wacha, who will be coming off the 60-day disabled list in advance of his start against the Brewers on Thursday.
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