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First Pitch: Cardinals call up No. 5 prospect Alec Burleson, place Dylan Carlson on IL

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First Pitch is scheduled for 6:45 at Busch Stadium.

The number five prospect in the Cardinals minor league system has been called up from AAA Memphis and could make his major league debut tonight against the Washington Nationals, though he is not in the starting lineup. He is expected to be at the ballpark before game time.

The 2020 second round pick would be the first of that draft class for the Cardinals to make his big league debut, beating top prospect Jordan Walker and No. 2 prospect Masyn Winn. 

Burleson has been on a speed run of the minor leagues, where in 2021 he went all the way from A to AAA in just 100 games. At AAA Memphis, Burleson has been one of the best hitters in minor league baseball this season, hitting .331 with a .905 OPS, 20 home runs and 86 RBI. 

Manager Oliver Marmol indicated he was excited and curious to see what the 2020 draft pick could do in the major leagues, and said he would get ample opportunities to prove himself. He will like play either corner outfield spot as well as DH. 

Marmol described Burleson as "hitter-ish", and as someone who can give you a competitive at-bat every time, noting that he does not strike out often. 

In order to make space on the 40-man roster and 25-man roster, Connor Capel was designated for assignment, and Dylan Carlson was placed on the IL with a left thumb sprain. 

The Cardinals lineup will otherwise remain exactly the same as last night, with the only exceptions of Yadier Molina taking over behind the plate, and Nolan Arenado and Brendan Donovan swapping DH and third base.

In today’s 10 a.m. video, columnist Ben Hochman discusses Cardinals’ outfielder Lars Nootbaar, whose amazing plate discipline and power has led to a stellar season. And, as always, Hochman picks a random St. Louis Cards card from the hat. Ten Hochman is presented by Window Nation!

Lineups will be posted when available 

CARDINALS (80-56)

1. Lars Nootbaar, RF

2. Brendan Donovan, DH

3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B

4. Nolan Arenado, DH

5. Corey Dickerson, LF

6. Tyler O'Neill, CF

7. Nolan Gorman, 2B

8. Yadier Molina, C

9. Tommy Edman, SS

P: Jordan Montgomery, LHP

Nationals (48-88)

1. Lane Thomas, LF

2. Joey Meneses, RF

3. Luke Voit, 1B

4. Nelson Cruz, DH

5. Luis Garcia, 2B

6. Cesar Hernandez, 3B

7. Ildemaro Vargas, SS

8. Riley Adams, C

9. Victor Robles, CF

P: Cory Abbott, RHP

Pitching Matchup

LHP Jordan Montgomery (8-3, 3.15 ERA): The towering lefty has been dominant for the Cardinals since arriving at the trade deadline. A large credit to his success has been given to Yadier Molina, who has unlocked something within the former Yankee by increasing how often he uses his fastball

RHP Corey Abbott (0-6, 4.56 ERA): No relation to the famous Jim Abbott (though Jim is Cory's middle name), Cory is in his second year in the majors after being claimed by the Nationals earlier this season from the Giants. Things have not worked out as well for the righty as a starter as they did a reliever, in four starts he has an almost even walk/strikeout rate and has allowed 12 earned runs in 18 innings.

Wild Cards

  • The Cardinals trade deadline acquisitions have paid dividends immediately. After Jo Jo Romero appeared in Saturday's win, the Cardinals improved to 25-3 in games in which their new players have appeared.
  • The magic number to clinch the division is 19, meaning any combination of 19 wins for the Cardinals or losses for the Brewers would win them the NL Central Crown. At this moment the Cardinals own a 8.5-game lead.

Transactions

  • OF Alec Burleson has been selected from the AAA Memphis Redbirds
  • OF Dylan Carlson has been placed on the IL with a left thumb sprain
    • Carlson began feeling the injury during the Yankees season and after imaging came back today with a sprain it was decided to give him the rest.
  • OF Connor Capel has been designated for assignment 

Injury Report 

  • Left-hander Steven Matz (torn MCL) made his first rehab appearance with AA Springfield, starting and going an inning and a third, allowing three walks but also striking out three. Matz will make his next appearance in the minors on Friday with an increased pitch count of 45. (Updated Sept. 7)
  • RHP Drew VerHagen (hip) and RHP Alex Reyes (shoulder) underwent season-ending surgeries. Both right-handed pitchers are expected to be ready for spring training after a winter of recovery. (Updated Aug. 20)

Up Next

The Cardinals continue the four-game home stand against the Washington Nationals, they then jet off to Pittsburg for the weekend series.

Check back here throughout the afternoon and evening for immediate coverage of the game and any news that surfaces from the Cardinals' pre-game activities. We will publish expanded game coverage online Tuesday night, and also in the pages of Wednesday's Post-Dispatch.

In today’s 10 a.m. video, columnist Ben Hochman discusses Paul Goldschmidt, Albert Pujols, Jordan Montgomery and the scorching Cardinals of August. Also, a happy birthday shoutout to Debbie Gibson! And, as always, Hochman picks a random St. Louis Cards card from the hat. Ten Hochman is presented by Window Nation!

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