ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals activated outfielder Lars Nootbaar (jammed left thumb) from the 10-day injured list and optioned infielder-outfielder Juan Yepez to Triple-A Memphis prior to Saturday’s game.
Nootbaar injured his thumb sliding into third base in the Cardinals’ season opener against Toronto on March 30.
Nootbaar was in the Cardinals’ lineup on Saturday against the Pirates at home batting seventh and playing center field.
“It’s good to have him back in the lineup,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “This is a guy that obviously is good at several things performance-wise, defensively, offensively, on the bases, but also brings a ton of energy and some of the intangibles that he brings to the team are welcomed.”
Nootbaar made his first career opening day start after playing for World Baseball Classic champion Team Japan. He went 0 for 5 in a rehabilitation appearance as a designated hitter with Double-A Springfield on Thursday before testing his thumb in drills Friday in St. Louis.
“There’s still some soreness and that’s mainly coming from the defensive side,” Nootbaar said. “That’s kind of like a tolerance thing, but I think we’ll be all right.”
During his stint replacing Nootbaar in the lineup, Yepez went 4 for 12 with a solo home run in three games.
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