MIA@STL: Robinson's single plates Piscotty in sixth

ST. LOUIS -- After an 18-game demotion to Triple-A -- a level he hadn't played at since 2012 -- outfielder Shane Robinson rejoined the Cardinals on Wednesday with confidence in his swing and a determination, to use his words, not "to go back down again."

The Cardinals altered the look of their bench with the roster move, which also included optioning Joey Butler to Memphis. Butler went hitless in six plate appearances during his big league stint.

"A lot like what we've done so far this season -- moving guys back and forth," manager Mike Matheny said. "Shane we sent down to get some work and to sharpen up. He went down and did a real nice job, hitting the ball extremely well. I think we made it clear that when we did send him out, he's one of the guys who has a spot in this clubhouse. He's a very respected player and part of this team the last few years. It was nice to see him go and work on the things he needed to work on and sharpen up and hopefully come back and be able to contribute."

Robinson was sent to Memphis on April 27, when the Cardinals made a series of roster moves to shake up their offense. He was able to get regular playing time in Memphis and hit .371 with 12 runs scored in 18 games. He had gone 2-for-20 in his time with the Cardinals prior to the demotion.

"Just get in a groove with the swing and everything," Robinson said when asked what he accomplished during his time away. "Getting everyday playing time down there, it was easy to get some repetition, get some looks at different pitching and kind of get my swing back. If you're looking at it that way, getting some at-bats and seeing some consistent pitching, I think it was a positive in that aspect."

Nevertheless, he described the demotion as a surprise.

"I definitely wasn't expecting it," Robinson said. "I had the option [year], so I knew it was possible. But I didn't think it would happen and didn't know it would happen. It was good to get down there and get some consistent ABs and feel good at the plate again."

That regular playing time is not something that will continue in the Majors, as Robinson fits as a fifth outfielder on this club. He does offer Matheny a pinch-running and defensive replacement option in addition to his being able to pinch-hit.

"It's been a couple years since he had that consistent time and I think it was a great tuneup for him," Matheny said. "Hopefully this will help him feel a little bit more confident so that when we use him, he'll come up big for us."

Cardinals busy with pre-Draft workouts

ST. LOUIS -- With the First-Year Player Draft sitting two weeks away, the Cardinals' scouting department has begun its series of regional meetings and is holding four area workouts for Draft-eligible players. This year, the organization does not plan to hold one such workout at Busch Stadium, which it did in 2013.

Scouting director Dan Kantrovitz recently returned to St. Louis after a weekend trip to California to meet with the organization's West Coast scouts and hold a workout for players in that area. On Thursday, Kantrovitz will leave for Texas to do the same with his Midwest scouts. He'll then head to meetings and workouts with his scouting teams in the East and Southeast regions.

"This gives me a lot of chances to see guys who I haven't seen this year," Kantrovitz said of the series of pre-Draft workouts. "Or if I have seen those guys, it gives myself and the crosscheckers an opportunity to sit down and talk to them as well."

The number of participants in these workouts ranges from about 10 to 30. The Cardinals' decision not to host one at Busch Stadium was largely due to a lack of standout local talent.

These workouts will be wrapped up by Tuesday, and all the members of the Cardinals' scouting staff will relocate to St. Louis by June 1 to finish final Draft preparations. The various regional groups rank the Draft-eligible players they have seen before putting together the final Draft board in St. Louis.

The 2014 Draft will take place on June 5-7, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB.com and MLB Network on Thursday, June 5, at 5 p.m. CT. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network's Studio 42 begins at 6 p.m., with the top 74 picks being streamed on MLB.com and broadcast on MLB Network. MLB.com's exclusive coverage of the second and third days will begin with a live Draft show at 1:30 p.m. on June 6.

MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 100 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of Draft-eligible players. Every selection will be tweeted live from @MLBDraftTracker, and you can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.

 

Ex-pitchers Carpenter, Franklin to rep Cards at Draft

Chris Carpenter has joined the Cards' front office. (Jeff Roberson/AP)

ST. LOUIS -- Chris Carpenter and Ryan Franklin, both of whom have taken front-office roles with the Cardinals' organization since their respective retirements, will represent the club next month at Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft.

Each club will have at least one draft representative on hand at MLB Network's Studio 42 on June 5, the first night of the three-day amateur Draft. The first 74 picks will be made that evening.

The Cardinals will have four selections on that first day. In addition to their first- and second-round picks (No. 27 and 68), the Cardinals garnered the 34th overall selection because of Carlos Beltran's departure and the 71st pick through the competitive-balance lottery.

Franklin was also the Cardinals' Draft representative last summer, when the Cardinals nabbed left-handers Marco Gonzales and Rob Kaminsky in the first round. Franklin, a 23rd-round selection by the Mariners in 1992, played his final five seasons in St. Louis. He saved 38 games and was named to the All-Star team in 2009, the best of his 11 years in the Majors.

Carpenter is in his first year of his retirement, though he made only six starts in his final two seasons. Carpenter, a three-time All-Star and Cy Young Award winner, was the 15th-overall pick in the 1993 Draft. Upon closing a 15-year playing career, Carpenter joined the Cardinals' front office to get exposure to various areas of baseball operations.

The 2014 Draft will take place on June 5-7, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB.com and MLB Network on Thursday, June 5, at 5 p.m. CT. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network's Studio 42 begins at 6 p.m., with the top 74 picks being streamed on MLB.com and broadcast on MLB Network. MLB.com's exclusive coverage of the second and third days will begin with a live Draft show at 1:30 p.m. on June 6.

MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 100 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of Draft-eligible players. Every selection will be tweeted live from @MLBDraftTracker, and you can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.

Minor Matters

Top Prospects: Oscar Taveras, OF, Cardinals

ST. LOUIS -- Some news and notes from down in the Cardinals' farm system:

• Right-handed starter Boone Whiting has been placed on the Triple-A disabled list with what Cardinals farm director Gary LaRocque described as a right shoulder strain. Whiting will be rehabbing the injury at the Cardinals' training facility in Jupiter, Fla. Before being unplugged from the rotation, Whiting was 0-5 with a 5.15 ERA in eight starts for Memphis.

• Taking Whiting's place in the Triple-A rotation will be right-hander Kurt Heyer, who was to start for Memphis on Wednesday night. Heyer made nine starts for Double-A Springfield before the promotion, going 2-2 with a 5.51 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, striking out 30 and walking 15 in 47 1/3 innings.

• In Tuesday's 6-3 win over Colorado Springs, top prospect Oscar Taveras tallied four of Memphis' 16 hits. Taveras had two doubles, two RBIs and a run scored in five at-bats. Shane Robinson, who has since been recalled by the Cardinals, and Scott Moore each contributed three-hit games.

Joey Butler has returned to Memphis, where he will again be used as a fourth outfielder for the Redbirds. Butler, who went 0-for-5 during his stint with the big league club, will not bump Taveras, Randal Grichuk or Stephen Piscotty out of a starting job. The partial use of the designated hitter will help the Redbirds find at-bats for Butler, who was hitting .360/.481/.547 with Memphis before his callup.

• Right-hander Keith Butler has been shut down due to right elbow discomfort, general manager John Mozeliak confirmed on Wednesday. Mozeliak said the organization is still determining the next step with Butler, who was sent to Triple-A Memphis on April 17 after starting the season on the Cardinals' Opening Day roster. He last pitched for Memphis on May 13.

Worth noting

Daniel Descalso made his third start at shortstop and his first at any position since May 6 on Wednesday as manager Mike Matheny chose to give Jhonny Peralta the night off. Peralta, who had started 22 consecutive games, was 1-for-22 against Arizona starter Brandon McCarthy.

• Matt Adam's on-again, off-again right elbow brace was off on Tuesday when he connected for a two-run homer. Matheny hinted that his preference would be for Adams to wear the brace all the time, as it is designed to prevent hyperextension of an elbow that has bothered Adams in each of the past two seasons. Adams said on Tuesday that he would prefer not to wear it if he feels fine.

"I like watching our guys out there on a daily basis, and if there is something they can do to increase their odds of being out there health-wise, I'd like to see them do it, whether it's a guy wearing an ankle brace or an elbow guard," Matheny said. "It's just protective gear. And if it can possibly keep you on the field, I'm going to go in favor of that. It's [the player's] call. It's not that big of an issue for us. "

Adam Wainwright's one-hitter on Tuesday was the fourth at home by the Cardinals since Busch Stadium opened in 2006. Three of those have come within the past 13 months. Shelby Miller threw a one-hitter last May, while Michael Wacha and Trevor Rosenthal combined for one the final week of the 2013 season. The other came in 2009, when Chris Carpenter, Ryan Franklin and Dennys Reyes combined for a one-hitter in a win over Pittsburgh.