The Cardinals optioned outfielder Lane Thomas to the club’s alternate training site on Thursday and selected the contract of fellow outfielder Scott Hurst to take Thomas’ place on the active roster.
To make room for Hurst on the 40-man roster, Dakota Hudson was transferred from the 10-day injured list to the 60-day IL. That was strictly a procedural move, as Hudson underwent Tommy John surgery in September and isn’t expected to return until the final month of the season, if at all in 2021.
As for Thomas, the move comes after the 25-year-old started the season 2-for-9 at the plate, while also making some defensive miscues. Hurst, a third-round pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, has not played a game above Double-A.
The moves indicate that 22-year-old Dylan Carlson will likely receive the majority of reps in center field for the time being. Everyday center fielder Harrison Bader remains sidelined with a right forearm strain, though he is eyeing a return in early-to-mid May.