Gerald Laird Injured By Pitch, Will Miss 4-6 Weeks; Tony Cruz Called Up

St. Louis Cardinals backup catcher Gerald Laird suffered a broken finger when he was hit by a pitch while trying to bunt; he'll miss 4-6 weeks. Tony Cruz has been called up to take his place, the third Memphis Redbirds catcher in two years to take on the role of backup to Yadier Molina; Bryan Anderson, still in AAA, and Matt Pagnozzi, now in the Colorado Rockies' system, replaced Jason LaRue after his career-ending concussion late in 2010. 

Cruz had a breakout season in 2010 between high-A Palm Beach and AA Springfield, hitting .282/.352/.433 across 90 games; he's struggled thus far in a AAA timeshare with Anderson, hitting 232/.289/.395, but his defense is much better-regarded and he was seen by some as a dark-horse candidate to take the backup catching job in 2011 before Laird was signed. 

Cruz was a 26th-round pick in the 2007 draft; he joins that year's first-rounder, Pete Kozma, in the Major Leagues for the first time. 

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