WASHINGTON -- The St. Louis Cardinals put All-Star third baseman Matt Carpenter on the three-day paternity list and recalled infielder Greg Garcia from Triple-A Memphis before their game with the Washington Nationals on Thursday.
Garcia, 26, made the Cardinals Opening Day roster and was 6-for-10 with a home run, but was optioned to Memphis to make room for infielder Ruben Tejada. Garcia is a .335 career hitter as a pinch hitter.
Carpenter left the Cardinals on Wednesday to attend the birth of his first child. He called the team at about 5 a.m. Wednesday to say his wife, Mackenzie, had gone into labor.
The baby, a girl, was born later in the day.
"For those of us who have been through it, that first time is pretty stressful, not knowing what to expect," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "This is a big deal, and we want him to be there. I know they have a lot of family coming in, but that's not always helpful. That can actually be more on your plate. There's a lot going on for him right now. We're just excited for him and hopeful everything goes well."
Carpenter might one day thank his daughter for sparing him from having to face Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta, a college teammate who has held Carpenter hitless in 16 regular-season at-bats. Matheny said Carpenter would have been in the lineup had his wife not gone into labor. Kolten Wong was in Carpenter's leadoff spot for the Cardinals on Wednesday, and Ruben Tejada played third base.
The Cardinals nearly rallied for a comeback win against Arrieta before losing 9-8. Afterward, Matheny was asked if it was difficult playing without one of his best players.
"Life takes precedence over baseball," Matheny said. "I'm very happy that Matt and Mackenzie had a healthy baby girl today. It's not even something that came into the conversation like we wished he was here, because we knew he should have been there."