MLB

Cardinals call up Wong against Cubs

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CHICAGO (AP)

The St. Louis Cardinals called up highly touted prospect Kolten Wong on Friday and put him in the middle of the lineup against the Chicago Cubs.

The 22-year-old Wong played second base and batted sixth.

''This is something that we've been thinking about for some time,'' general manager John Mozeliak said. ''I've been asked about his progress for the last few months, and I've said I think he's ready for the big leagues.''

The 22-year-old Wong was a first-round draft pick and the 22nd overall pick in 2011. He was batting .303 in 107 games at Memphis with 21 doubles, eight triples, 10 home runs and 20 steals.

''Maybe we could wait until the rosters expanded (on Sept. 1),'' Mozeliak said. ''But with the way things have been going, I just felt getting him in there maybe would bring new energy.''

The Memphis Redbirds are ranked 11th in the Pacific Coast League.

''To Kolt's credit, his game is a little bit of everything,'' manager Mike Matheny said. ''He's gonna add a speed element to our game, a defensive element to our game. Hopefully, from an offensive standpoint, he can handle this league. That's always the big question mark when you bring a young position player up.''

The addition of Wong also creates some interesting lineup decisions for Matheny. With Wong playing second base on Friday, Matt Carpenter, who had been playing second, moved to third base and David Freese - the former World Series hero who is struggling somewhat this season - moved to the bench as the Cubs started right-hander Jake Arrieta.

Freese should be back in the lineup Saturday when the Cubs start left-hander Travis Wood.

''I would say it's a day-by-day situation,'' Mozeliak said. ''I'm not saying (Wong) has to play every day - there are gonna be times when we want to get David back in the lineup - so I imagine there's gonna be some split playing opportunities.''

To make room for Wong on the active roster, the Cardinals optioned outfielder Adron Chambers to Memphis.

Tagged: Cubs, Cardinals, David Freese

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