ST. LOUIS • When the Cardinals discussed promoting Harrison Bader to the majors earlier this month, the one concern they had was the playing time that would be awaiting him when he arrived.
They couldn't guarantee it would be much, not in a short-term promotion.
That has changed.
Starting center fielder Dexter Fowler was placed on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday afternoon with a strain in or near his left wrist. The injury has also been described as a forearm strain. The severity of the injury is not yet known, though it was enough to keep him out of the lineup Tuesday and enough to clear up a longer-term chance for Bader, one of the leading offensive forces for the runaway Class AAA Memphis team.
The Cardinals purchased Bader's contract from Class AAA Memphis and added him to the 40-man roster. He is expected to be in the lineup Tuesday and could create some shuffling. Bader will start in center Tuesday against the Rockies, and he will bat seventh.
Bader will wear No. 48.
At Class AAA, the former Florida Gator has hit .297 with 19 homers and 48 RBIs in 97 games. He was the 100th overall pick in 2015 and he has moved rapidly through the system ever since. An aggressive hitter who profiles as a top-of-the-order hitter with pop, Bader has hit .287 in his pro career with 50 doubles and 39 stolen bases.
The likelihood of this move was reported earlier on STLtoday.com, and the original report can be found below.
The Cardinals maintained an opening on the 40-man roster by granting Chad Huffman his release so that he could become a free agent. The Cardinals had passed the outfielder through waivers in recent days before removing him from the 40-man roster.
From our earlier report:
The Cardinals are in the process of making a series of roster moves that will bring Harrison Bader to the majors and could install him as one of the outfielders for a stretch.
The exact nature of the move will be announced Tuesday afternoon, a team official confirmed to the Post-Dispatch.
Bader, 23, has been one of the leading forces for Class AAA Memphis this season with 19 homers and a .517 slugging percentage. He will have to be added to the 40-man roster before joining the active roster. The Cardinals have an open spot on the 40-man.
Earlier this month, the Cardinals considered Bader for a promotion but determined that he would not be a fit for a short-term call. If there was an extended run of playing time available then they would have given Bader a longer look.
Dexter Fowler, who has been dealing with foot pain and a heel spur, left Monday's game in a late-game double switch, and he is not in the lineup today, according to an official.
This story will be updated with the latest information.