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Cruz placed on paternity leave, Easley called up from Triple-A

Special to MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- Ed Easley hopes that, if he can be trusted with more than 100 kids ages 6 to 18, he can be trusted with one pitcher.

The Cardinals placed backup catcher Tony Cruz on paternity leave Friday and recalled the 29-year-old Easley from Triple-A Memphis for the weekend series in Cincinnati.

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CINCINNATI -- Ed Easley hopes that, if he can be trusted with more than 100 kids ages 6 to 18, he can be trusted with one pitcher.

The Cardinals placed backup catcher Tony Cruz on paternity leave Friday and recalled the 29-year-old Easley from Triple-A Memphis for the weekend series in Cincinnati.

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Easley runs an offseason baseball camp at his former high school field in Olive Branch, Miss.

"Running that camp [is] really a unique opportunity for me," Easley said. "I've been fortunate to have guys help me who have played pro ball. It has become a big camp."

Easley has played 646 games in the Arizona and St. Louis organizations since being picked by the Diamondbacks in the supplemental first round in 2007. But had never appeared in a big league game before Friday.

He signed with the Cardinals as a Minor League free agent prior to last season and batted .296 in 80 games for Memphis.

"We saw last year that he had the opportunity to be a big part of our organization in terms of helping young pitchers develop," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "He had a good year for us last year. We like the quiet way he goes about his business."

Matheny said Cruz, who is in Florida with his girlfriend and the new baby girl, will rejoin the team for Monday's home opener against Milwaukee.

• Major League Baseball reversed an official scorer's ruling from Wednesday's game in Chicago, awarding Jason Heyward a hit in the eighth inning. The original ruling was an error on Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro.

Andy Call is a contributor to MLB.com

St. Louis Cardinals, Tony Cruz, Jason Heyward