The Cardinals added Knizner to their 28-man roster Wednesday ahead of the team's wild-card series with the Padres, Jeff Jones of the Belleville News-Democrat reports. Knizner is slated to serve as the Cardinals' No. 3 catcher behind Yadier Molina and Matt Wieters during the three-game series. The 25-year-old appeared in eight games during the regular season, going 4-for-16 with four RBI.
Knizner was optioned off the Cardinals' active roster Friday. Knizner had been filling in as the backup catcher with Matt Wieters out with a bruised toe, going 4-for-16 at the plate. He'll head back to the team's alternate training site now that Wieters is ready to return.
Knizner entered Tuesday's win over the Reds on Tuesday as a pinch hitter in the top of the sixth inning and went 2-for-2 with a two-run infield single and a run. The rarely-used catcher made the most of his playing time opportunity, extending the Cardinals' lead to 13-0 in the sixth inning with his single. Knizner has not logged any starts since Matt Wieters' went on the injured list Aug. 20 with a toe issue, and he has just 17 plate appearances on the season overall.
Knizner will be Matt Wieters' primary backup at catcher while Yadier Molina (illness) remains out of action. Knizner did not see any action over the first five games of the season and has primarily been serving as a bullpen catcher. He'll now ascend to the job of primary backup for the time being, which should afford him some opportunities behind the dish in coming games.
Knizner was named to the Cardinals' Opening Day roster on Thursday, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports. The promising backstop showed enough in summer camp to finish making his case for a spot that could see him fill a few different roles. Knizner will be available off the bench, as an occasional spot starter in place of the aging top duo of Yadier Molina and Matt Wieters and as a bullpen catcher whenever needed. The Cardinals were intent on allowing Knizner to continue his development in a year without minor-league baseball, with president of baseball operations confirming that was one of the team's priorities.