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Cards tab Wieters to back up Molina at catcher

March 22, 2019

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Matt Wieters has been added to the St. Louis Cardinals’ roster after earning the back-up job behind catcher Yadier Molina.

Wieters’ contract was selected Friday from Triple-A Memphis. He gets a $1.5 million salary while in the major leagues and $200,000 while in the minors. He can earn $500,000 in performance bonuses based on games: $100,000 each for 40, 50, 60, 70 and 80.

To clear a roster spot, the Cardinals designated left-hander Chasen Shreve for assignment.

A four-time All-Star with Baltimore from 2009-16, Wieters was competing with Francisco Pena for the back-up job.

Wieters spent the past two seasons with Washington. He hit .238 with eight homers and 30 RBIs last year, when he was sidelined between March 31 and April 12 with a strained left oblique muscle and between May 10 and July 9 with a strained left hamstring.

His contract with the Nationals paid $21 million over the two years.

Shreve, a 28-year-old left-hander, had a 5.00 ERA in eight spring training appearances with nine walks and five strikeouts in nine innings.



Avisail Garcia had three hits and two RBIs, Brandon Lowe had two hits and Casey Sadler struck out three in three scoreless relief innings for Tampa Bay. Sadler was re-assigned to minor league camp after the Rays’ final game in Port Charlotte this spring.

Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang started at shortstop in what manager Clint Hurdle dubbed an “experiment.” Kang was a shortstop before injuring his knee in September of 2015. He missed most of the past two seasons due to legal troubles surrounding three DUI arrests in his native South Korea and a wrist injury last season. Kang had two hits, including a double.


Paul Goldschmidt homered and had three hits, Marcell Ozuna also went deep and Molina had two hits and three RBIs for St. Louis. John Gant allowed three runs in 5 2/3 innings a day after learning he’d lost the battle to be the team’s fifth starter to Dakota Hudson. Gant will open the season in the bullpen.

Hector Santiago, a candidate for a bullpen job with the Mets, started and pitched three innings, allowing five runs, seven hits and three walks. Jeff McNeil hit his third homer of the spring. Pete Alonso had two hits and an RBI but also committed a throwing error at first base.


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