Oct 10, 2014 6:05 PM

Cardinals add Pierzynski, Giants set to add Morse

The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) The San Francisco Giants expect to add Michael Morse to the roster for the NL Championship Series, while the St. Louis Cardinals strengthened their bench by including catcher A.J. Pierzynski.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Friday that Morse looked good playing in the instructional league, saying that he had homered. Morse was en route to St. Louis, where the best-of-seven series starts Saturday night.

"Really encouraged with his at-bats down there," Bochy said. "Once we see him and talk to him, all is fine. He is on the roster, then the first game he will be used off the bench."

Morse was not on the division series roster. He hit .279 with 16 homers and 61 RBIs this season, but he's had only two at-bats since Aug. 31 because of a strained oblique muscle.

The 37-year-old Pierzynski replaces lefty reliever Sam Freeman on the Cardinals roster.

Manager Mike Matheny said Pierzynski gave the team an experienced bat off the bench, and a third catcher that allows for use of backup Tony Cruz.

"It's more so what A.J. brings more than anything else," Matheny said.

Rookie Marco Gonzales was 2-0 in the division series against the Dodgers and worked three scoreless innings, making fellow lefty Freeman expendable. Gonzales was a first-round draft pick out of Gonzaga in 2013.

"Marco has taken advantage of everything we have given him," Matheny said. "In big situations, we're throwing him in there against lefties and tough righties in the middle of their lineup and he's making great pitches."

Freeman walked two batters in his lone appearance in the division series against the Dodgers. He was 2-0 with a 2.61 ERA in 44 games during the season.

Pierzynski got 19 starts while Yadier Molina was sidelined two months with a torn ligament in his right thumb. He batted .244 with a homer and six RBIs in 30 games and was 5 for 14 as a pinch-hitter with the Cardinals and Red Sox.

He started one game after Molina returned in late August and understood when he was left off the division series roster.

"Obviously, you're disappointed," Pierzynski said. "Once I got over the initial kind of frustration of it and I had a nice conversation with Mike and we talked about the reasoning, I was OK with it.

"I said, 'Look, I'm going to do everything I can to help this team and be excited for the guys and try to be as positive as I can off the bench."

Pierzynski signed with St. Louis after being released by the Red Sox because he wanted to play in the postseason and get semi-regular duty while Molina was out.

"Of course you want to play a little bit more, but at the end of the day Yaddi plays every day so it's hard to get in there."

Workouts Friday were virtually all indoors because of rain, with a handful of Cardinals playing catch for just a few minutes.


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