ST. LOUIS (AP) St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Ruben Tejada has been activated from the 15-day disabled list after recovering from a strained left quadriceps, which he hurt in the last game of spring training.
But he was on the bench Monday night against the Chicago Cubs, with rookie Aledmys Diaz starting. Diaz was batting .406 with two homers and eight RBIs.
Infielder Greg Garcia, 6 for 10 in eight games, was optioned to Triple-A Memphis after Sunday's 4-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. Manager Mike Matheny said Garcia would be the primary starter at shortstop in the minors.
The 26-year-old Tejada figured to be the starter in place of Jhonny Peralta, who is recovering from surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb. Diaz and Jedd Gyorko have both played well, in the field and at the plate, and Garcia also started at shortstop.
''The door opened for Diaz and what's there not to like about what he's done here?'' Matheny said. ''That was something we didn't necessarily anticipate. He needs to play.''
St. Louis signed Tejada on March 19 after he was released by the New York Mets. He was hurt on March 31. In three injury rehabilitation games with Double-A Springfield last week, he was 3 for 9 with a double.
The Cardinals also could use Tejada at second base and third base.
Matheny has a deep roster, with rookie Jeremy Hazelbaker, a left-handed hitter batting .394, starting in center field ahead of Randal Grichuk against right-hander John Lackey. Ten players entered the game with 20 or more at-bats and infielder Matt Adams had 19.
''We're going to have conversations just about every day while everybody's playing the way they are,'' Matheny said. ''Something's got to give and so far the guys have been good about understanding that.''