Hot-hitting Bader recalled by Cardinals

August 20th, 2019

ST. LOUIS -- Optioned to the Minor Leagues three weeks ago with the task of finding his swing and building up his confidence, Harrison Bader has mashed his way back toward relevancy. The Cardinals recalled Bader on Tuesday and optioned Randy Arozarena, who is their No. 12-ranked prospect per MLB Pipeline, to Triple-A Memphis.

Bader entered Monday riding an eight-game hitting streak, during which he has tallied four multi-hit games while posting a slash line of .419/.539/1.097 with Triple-A Memphis. Nine of his 13 hits during this stretch have gone for extra bases, including six home runs. The production, which also includes a balanced five walks to nine strikeouts.

“I’m super proud and pleased of what Harrison is doing because that’s hard to go down after you’ve been here for a couple years,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said before Monday's 3-0 win over the Brewers. “But he went down with the right attitude. He got his mojo going. He’s a really good player when he has that going, and we need to be mindful of that.”

As it is now, the Cardinals have two everyday outfielders ( and ) and three others (, and ) whom Shildt considers outfield options. That doesn’t even include or , both of whom are nursing injuries.

“He’s done exactly what we’ve asked him to do, what we expect him to do, what we want him to do,” Shildt said. “So it’s really not about what Harrison needs to do more of. … We also know that we have guys who are producing here. To answer the question in a silo with Harrison, it’s really [that he needs to] keep doing what he’s been doing and make it to where he plays himself back up here and is able to contribute. He’s really, basically done that.”

Bader, who opened the year as the Cardinals’ everyday center fielder, never found much offensive traction. His playing time started to shrink after the All-Star break, and he fell into a 3-for-26 rut that led the Cardinals to send the outfielder back to the Minors on July 29 so he could accrue consistent at-bats.

Make your calendar
One week after Major League Baseball unveiled its 2020 regular-season schedule, details of each club’s Spring Training slate were released on Monday.

The Cardinals' Grapefruit League schedule is highlighted by 18 games at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium, which has been the team’s spring home since 1998. The club will open Grapefruit League play by hosting the split-squad Mets on Feb. 22. The Cardinals have seven games scheduled against the Mets and Marlins, with an additional six against the Astros and four versus the Nationals.

The club will make a trip across Florida to play the Twins and Red Sox in Fort Myers on March 9-10. The Cards will also make a visit to North Port, Fla., the new spring home of the Braves on Feb. 27. As previously reported, the Cardinals will close out spring by traveling to Texas to face the Rangers in a March 23 exhibition game at their new ballpark, Globe Life Field.

The Cardinals’ full Spring Training schedule can be viewed at The club will release information about report dates and ticket pricing at a later time.

On the mend
O’Neill (left wrist strain) and Martinez (right AC joint sprain) increased their pregame work on Monday and are both on track to begin rehab assignments this week. O’Neill, who has been sidelined since Aug. 1, is expected to head out to Memphis first, perhaps as soon as Tuesday.

“It was very unfortunate to have an injury like this,” O’Neill said before taking on-field batting practice ahead of the club’s series opener against the Brewers at Busch Stadium. “But the most important thing now is that I’m feeling good and I can be ready soon.”

Martinez, Shildt noted, has been cleared to start taking light swings.