Knizner was reassigned to minor-league camp Monday.
Knizner entered spring training with a chance to compete for backup duties to Yadier Molina, but those odds took a hit when the Cardinals signed Matt Wieters in late February. The 24-year-old had a .313/.368/.430 slash line between Double-A and Triple-A in 2018.
This isn't much of a surprise after Knizner tore it up at Triple-A Memphis with a .315/.383/.407 slash line. The 23-year-old is now the clear heir apparent to veteran Yadier Molina after Carson Kelly was traded to Arizona in December as part of the package to acquire Paul Goldschmidt. There's no guarantee Knizner will see much time in the majors this season given Molina's track record, even if he breaks camp as the No. 2 catcher, but Knizner could see some opportunities should any injuries crop up for the veteran.
Knizner is slashing .333/.381/.436 with four doubles and four RBI over his first 43 plate appearances at Triple-A Memphis.
Knizner had received a callup to the Redbirds in mid-May as part of the domino effect of simultaneous injuries to Yadier Molina and Carson Kelly at the big-league level. However, he's subsequently proven worthy of the promotion on his own merits. The young backstop has exceeded the impressive .324 average he'd generated with Double-A Springfield, and he's come within striking distance of the .412 on-base percentage and .467 slugging percentage that made up the remainder of his line. Knizner has been impressive with the bat at every professional stop thus far, and even though Molina presently blocks his path to the big leagues, it isn't inconceivable that he could eventually surpass Kelly as the veteran's heir apparent.
Knizner was moved up to Triple-A Memphis on Thursday, Rob Rains of Stlsportspage.com reports.
Knizner will take the next step in his professional career after beginning the 2018 season hitting .333/.412/.467 with 18 RBI in 27 games for Double-A Springfield. Though he has played well enough to deserve this promotion, the move occurred due to the limited catching availability in the Cardinals' organization at the present time. With Yadier Molina (groin) and Carson Kelly (hamstring) on the DL, Francisco Pena and Steve Baron are both on the major-league roster, so Knizner will man the backstop for Memphis moving forward.
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