Cardinals call up Jon Jay

It may have taken a few weeks longer than he had hoped, but outfielder Jon Jay has made it to St. Louis.

Jay was recalled from Triple A Memphis Monday afternoon when the Cardinals decided that the seldom-used Allen Craig would benefit more from playing every day at Memphis.

With the Cardinals in search of a left-handed bat to come off their bench, a strong spring training by Jay could have landed him a spot on the Opening Day roster. But Jay struggled, hitting just .231 with eight strikeouts in 39 at-bats, and was optioned to Memphis to start the year.

Jay had a 16-game hitting streak to start the year at Memphis, failing to get a hit for the first game this season in his last game on Sunday before getting the promotion to St. Louis. Jay is hitting .347 (25-for-72) with two home runs and 11 RBIs in 17 games. He has eight walks, seven stolen bases and six multi-hit games.

Jay will give the Cardinals a needed left-handed option off the bench with switch-hitter Felipe Lopez going on the disabled list while the move allows Craig a chance to get more regular at-bats.

“It wasn’t like Jay wasn’t impressive (in spring training),” said manager Tony La Russa. “He did some good things, and then he went down to Triple A and has played well. He earned the promotion.

“He’s been playing well so it’s a good switch for us. It gives us a little left-hand balance that we didn’t have there before and it gets Craig playing so it’s a win-win.”

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