Cardinals activate Matt Carpenter, send Ruben Tejada to minors

WASHINGTON -- The St. Louis Cardinals activated All-Star third baseman Matt Carpenter from the paternity list and designated veteran infielder Ruben Tejada for assignment Saturday.

Carpenter left the team Wednesday to be with his wife, Mackenzie, who gave birth to the couple's first child, a daughter, later that day.

The team initially planned to option utility infielder Greg Garcia to Triple-A Memphis when Carpenter returned, but Garcia changed their minds by getting on base four times in two games, making three strong defensive plays at third base and homering Friday night. He is batting .615 in 21 plate appearances.

The team signed Tejada, formerly of the New York Mets, as a stopgap solution after an injury to Jhonny Peralta in spring training, but their needs changed with the emergence of rookie Aledmys Diaz. Peralta also is days away from returning from a torn ligament in his left thumb.

Tejada, 26, was batting .176 and seldom played in recent weeks. If he accepts an outright to Triple-A, the Cardinals will owe him the remainder of his $1.5 million salary. He also could refuse the outright and become a free agent. If he then signed with another team, the Cardinals would save around $700,000.