All posts by Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.

Oliver Marmol – MLB’s Youngest-Ever Division-Winning Manager

photo: Oliver Marmol via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Oliver Marmol (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

Attention across the baseball world was directed to the St. Louis Cardinals last October when the club hired bench coach Oliver Marmol as the new field manager, replacing Mike Shildt.

The former minor league player and later manager and coach was just 35 years of age, making him the youngest manager in team history and the youngest manager currently in Major League Baseball.

Just 11 months later, on Tuesday evening in Milwaukee, Marmol’s maiden Cardinals club clinched the 2022 National League Central Division title. Shortly afterward, a poster on The Cardinal Nation’s free forum posed this very interesting question:

“I wonder if Marmol just became the youngest manager to win a division title?”

Upon seeing this, I immediately accepted the challenge, dropping the work I should have been doing instead and heading down a rabbit hole that has led me to conclude that Marmol does seem to have claimed this honor – at 36 years and 87 days.

Manager Year/Team Age yr/mos Notes 1st year Mgr of Year
Oliver Marmol 2022 STL 36/2 yes TBD
Sparky Anderson 1970 CIN 36/6 HOF yes (prior to award)
Rocco Baldelli 2019 MIN 38/0 yes youngest
Buck Showalter 1994 NYY 38/3* *Aug strike yes
Tony La Russa 1983 CWS 38/11 HOF yes
Eric Wedge 2007 CLE 39 yes
Kevin Cash 2020 TB 42 yes
Alex Cora 2018 BOS 43 won WS yes
A.J. Hinch 2017 HOU 43 won WS

As it expanded, MLB first implemented divisions in 1969 and went from two to three divisions per league in 1995.

Prior to Marmol, the youngest division-winning manager I could identify* was 38 years old. In fact, it was exactly to the day as the 2019 Minnesota Twins clinched the American League Central on Rocco Baldelli’s 38th birthday. Baldelli went on to be named the AL Manager of the Year in his first season in the job and was the youngest ever to receive those honors.

At least two other 38-year-old managers’ clubs won their divisions. Buck Showalter led the 1994 Yankees to a first-place finish, but the August strike led to the cancelation of the post-season.

A very familiar name, Hall of Famer Tony La Russa, was also 38 years old when his 1983 Chicago White Sox finished in first place.

Boston’s Alex Cora was not in his 30’s in his rookie season but holds the distinction of his first-place club winning the World Series in his first year. Cora was 43 years old.

However, none of the other men highlighted completed the trifecta of winning the division, going on to take the World Championship and being selected as his league’s Manager of Year – in his first season managing while still in his 30’s.

Could Marmol be the first?

Sparky Anderson (St. Petersburg, 1966)

* Update

Cardinals Media Relations has confirmed that Marmol is the youngest manager to lead his team to a postseason since Divisional Play began in 1969. (This would apparently also cover Wild Cards.)

However, I overlooked the prior record-holder.

Former Cardinals minor league skipper and Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson took the 1970 Cincinnati Reds to the National League West Division title at 36 years, 207 days. In Sparky’s rookie season managing in the majors, the Reds lost in the World Series. (In 1970, the Manager of the Year Award had not yet been created.)

The above table has been updated to recognize Sparky.

For more information, I wrote the following article almost 12 years ago at Anderson’s passing.

Sparky Anderson’s Days as a Cardinal

Comments?

As my study was not scientific, I may have missed others. If you have corrections or just want to engage in conversation, please head over to The Cardinal Nation’s free forum and look for the related discussion thread, for the September 27 game.

While there, join in the daily Cardinals talk with other avid fans.


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2022 Palm Beach Cardinals Relief Pitcher of the Year


On Closeout – 2022 Cardinals Prospect Guide

The Cardinal Nation 2022 Prospect Guide is back for its fifth year. It includes 276 pages of in-depth commentary about the very best St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers, including dozens of color photos. Order your PDF or printed book copy today! The latter is 20% off.

Order TCN’s 2022 Cardinals Prospect Guide


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© 2022 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

2022 Florida Complex League Cardinals Team Review

photo: Florida Complex Cardinals manager Roberto Espinoza (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

On one hand, it was more of the same as the Florida Complex League Cardinals finished in fifth place for the third consecutive season. Further, the 2022 rookie-level Cards ended 7 1/2 games out of first place, same as in 2021.

On the other hand, the expansion of the East Division to six teams for 2022 meant the Cards escaped the division cellar. (The Astros added a second club this season with its Blue squad taking over the final spot in the standings.)

The 2022 Cardinals club’s .463 winning percentage (25-29 record) was its best since the record-.714 rookie-level club in 2018. This summer’s Cards finished just below .500 at home (12-15) and away (13-14).

The Cardinals were 7-9 in June and 8-12 in July but finished stronger, going 10-8 in August.

Pitching was the 2022 team’s strength, as evidenced by their run differential of -41 for the season (213 scored vs. 254 allowed). Across the Cardinals system, only High-A Peoria had a larger gap between the offense and pitching.

Offense

Primarily staffed by graduates from the Cardinals Dominican academy and augmented by more experienced hitters sent down from Class-A Palm Beach, the Cards were the fifth-youngest offense in the 16-team FCL at an average age of 19.2 years.

Statistically, the 2022 Cardinals offense, coached by former St. Louis outfielder Bernard Gilkey, was dismal.

The Cardinals were dead last in the league in all four slash stats – batting average (.196), on-base (.304), slugging (.301) and OPS (.605). However, thanks to the presence of the Astros Blue, the Cards were “only” 15th in runs scored per game (3.94).

The FCL Cards were tied for ninth with 66 steals but were caught 29 times for a success rate of 69.5%.

Pitching

Cardinals pitching was also fifth-youngest in the FCL, but with a much different result.  Led by pitching coach Rick Harig, their aggregate 3.92 ERA was sixth lowest. They were seventh of 16 in strikeouts and tied for the seventh fewest walks issued. Not surprisingly, they were also seventh in strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.39). They yielded the fifth-most hits and hit the most batters (60, or more than one per game).

The starters were strong – fifth-best with an ERA of 3.22, fifth in WHIP at 1.25 but had the sixth-highest batting average against at .240.

The relievers’ ERA of 4.32 was middle-of-the-pack, ninth place, but they faced more than average traffic on the bases, both due to walks and hits. Their WHIP was 11th at 1.50 due in part to the seventh most free passes issued (160). They yielded the fourth-most hits, 268, for a batting average against of .245, which was third highest in the FCL.

Defense

Like the hitting, the 2022 Cardinals defense was the league’s worst – at least in terms of errors (95) and collective .950 fielding percentage. On a more positive note, the catchers tied for third best in the FCL with a 34% caught stealing rate (32 of 93).

Large roster

With a roster that was often more than 40 players in number, manager Roberto Espinoza had to be challenged in getting everyone regular action. 59 different individuals took the field for the 2022 FCL Cardinals – 30 pitchers and 29 position players.

That included a handful of rehabbers from above, including pitchers Ljay Newsome (Memphis), Griffin Roberts and Johan Quezada (Springfield) and Ian Bedell (Peoria) plus outfielders Patrick Romeri and Ryan Holgate (Palm Beach).

New draftees scarce

Partially because every one of the 19 players signed from the July 2022 draft were collegians, there was not a major influx of talent mid-season. Further, no in-season promotions from the Dominican Summer League occurred, a first in recent years.

All seven position players drafted by the Cardinals this July plus the lone non-drafted free agent signee opened their professional careers at Low-A Palm Beach instead of the FCL. That meant no needed in-season boost of offense came from the outside.

On the pitching side, only four of the 12 2022-drafted and signed pitchers appeared in official FCL game action with the rest working out in Jupiter. None of the four pitched extensively, totaling just seven innings over seven appearances.

Tanner Jacobson

Two of the four newly signed hurlers, right-handers Tanner Jacobson (10th) and D.J. Carpenter (14th),  opened in the FCL and finished the season with Palm Beach, though Carpenter was  placed on the injured list then moved back to the FCL at season’s end.

Key promotions/demotions

As development is the most important priority at this level, reviewing player movement can be illustrative. Almost all were shuffles were made with the next level up, Low-A Palm Beach, which is located in the same Jupiter complex. The Beach Birds had to work within a roster limit, while the FCL is more flexible.

Trejyn Fletcher

Perhaps the most disappointing moves were the demotions of former prospect outfielders Trejyn Fletcher, Ryan Holgate and Jhon Torres. The Cardinals futures of all three are cloudy.

June

  • Catcher Jake Burns was promoted from the FCL to Palm Beach as catcher Carlos Linarez went down.
  • Right-handed reliever Chris Holba moved up to Palm Beach.

July

  • Outfielder Trejyn Fletcher and infielder Brandon Hernandez were sent down from Palm Beach.
  • Infielder Lizandro Espinoza, left-handed pitcher Diorys Guerrero and right-handed pitchers Hancel Rincon and Yonael Dominguez were promoted to Palm Beach.

Hancel Rincon

August

  • Espinoza, outfielders Adanson Cruz, Jhon Torres and Ryan Holgate and right-handed pitcher Guerrero were sent down from Palm Beach to the FCL.
  • Right-handed pitchers Jose Davila, Ludwin Jimenez and Angel Cuenca (the latter two were later returned to FCL), left-handed pitcher Omar Sanchez (later returned) and catcher Jose Zapata (later returned) were promoted from the FCL to Palm Beach. (In other words, of this group, only Davila stuck with the Class-A club.)

Jose Davila

  • Shortstop Albert Inoa and outfielder Hansel Otamendi were released.
  • Four right-handed pitcher draft picks were activated: Jacobson (10th round), Chandler Arnold (13th), Carpenter (14th), Hunter Hayes (16th). Jacobson and Carpenter were later promoted to Palm Beach.

September

With the FCL season over, September moves were more about needed roster adjustments for the Class-A teams, which continued to play into the month.

  • Right-handed pitcher Ian Bedell was sent down from Peoria to the FCL.
  • Espinoza and Linarez were promoted to Palm Beach again.
  • Outfielder Won-Bin Cho was promoted to Palm Beach.

Won-Bin Cho

  • Right-handed pitchers D.J. Carpenter and Jose Moreno and lefty Hayes Heinecke moved from Palm Beach 7-day IL to the FCL.

Update

One cloud has been cleared up. On Tuesday, September 20, just a few hours after this article was published, Torres was given his release by the Cardinals organization.

Jhon Torres

What is next?

Much more detail on the FCL Cardinals’ top hitters, relievers and starting pitchers is coming as we select the best of the best in upcoming articles in this series.

Check out The Cardinal Nation’s annual article series highlighting team results and top hitters and pitchers across the entire St. Louis Cardinals system. The Palm Beach Cardinals Team Review is next up.

The Cardinal Nation’s Team Recaps and Top Players of 2022

Exclusively for members of The Cardinal Nation

Palm Beach Cardinals Notebook – 2022 Week 24

On Closeout – 2022 Cardinals Prospect Guide

The Cardinal Nation 2022 Prospect Guide is back for its fifth year. It includes 276 pages of in-depth commentary about the very best St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers, including dozens of color photos. Order your PDF or printed book copy today! The latter is 20% off.

Order TCN’s 2022 Cardinals Prospect Guide

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Join The Cardinal Nation for the most comprehensive coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals from the majors through the entire minor league system.

© 2022 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Cardinals Option Out Nolan Gorman as Juan Yepez Returns

photo: Juan Yepez (D. Ross Cameron/USA TODAY Sports)

During their Monday off-day, the St. Louis Cardinals optioned rookie second baseman Nolan Gorman to Triple-A Memphis and replaced him with rookie infielder/outfielder Juan Yepez.

Nolan Gorman

Following his May 20 promotion from Triple-A until the All-Star break, the 22-year-old rookie second baseman slashed .241/.320/.444/.765 with nine home runs and a strikeout rate of 30.9%. Since then, the left-handed hitter and former organization no. 1 prospect has slashed a disappointing .207/.273/.388/.661 with five long balls and a whiff rate of 35.6%.

With Paul DeJong also slumping, Tommy Edman should remain at short with Brendan Donovan best positioned to play second base daily. Middle infield depth is a bit thin, but remember that Triple-A will keep playing until the MLB regular season ends. So a potential injury replacement is just a call away.

Juan Yepez

Yepez, 24, did not make the Cardinals out of spring training, but was with St. Louis from May 3 until he went on the injured list with a right forearm strain on July 15.  He began a rehab stint with Memphis on August 9. Ten days later, he was activated off the IL and optioned to the Triple-A Redbirds.

Despite hitting well, Yepez was passed over for a return to St. Louis several times. In 50 games with Memphis this season, the right-handed hitter slashed .277/.341/.580/.821 along with 16 home runs and 53 RBI.

With St. Louis, Yepez should rejoin the corner outfield mix that has two openings with Tyler O’Neill out. Other contenders for playing time include Lars Nootbaar, Corey Dickerson and Alec Burleson. Dylan Carlson and Ben DeLuzio are primarily covering center.

For more

To see all players in the system by level and position plus every transaction all year ‘round, check out the always free Roster Matrix here at The Cardinal Nation, refreshed today. The Matrix also includes which 2022 draftees have signed and their team assignments when disclosed.


Exclusively for members of The Cardinal Nation

Cardinals Baez, Rodriguez, and Heredia Selected in LIDOM Draft


On Closeout – 2022 Cardinals Prospect Guide

The Cardinal Nation 2022 Prospect Guide is back for its fifth year. It includes 276 pages of in-depth commentary about the very best St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers, including dozens of color photos. Order your PDF or printed book copy today or get 20% off the spiral-bound printed version.!

Order TCN’s 2022 Cardinals Prospect Guide


Not yet a member?

Join The Cardinal Nation for the most comprehensive coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals from the majors through the entire minor league system.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnation.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.

© 2022 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Eight Cardinals Headed to 2022 Arizona Fall League

photo: Jordan Walker and Masyn Winn (Springfield Cardinals FANatic Photos)

Eight St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers, including three top 10 prospects. will suit up for the 2022 Salt River Rafters in the Arizona Fall League prospect showcase, running from October 3 until November 12.

Four current Springfield Cardinals lead the way – outfielder Jordan Walker, shortstop Masyn Winn, right-handed pitcher Kyle Leahy and outfielder Mike Antico (taxi squad). Springfield hitting coach Tyger Pederson was named to the Rafters’ staff.

From Triple-A Memphis are right-handed reliever Ryan Loutos, catcher Pedro Pages and left-handed pitcher Connor Thomas, with right-handed pitcher Tink Hence from High-A Palm Beach.

Seven of the eight are members of The Cardinal Nation’s Top 50 Prospect List. Three are in the top 10, all 20 years of age and representing the organization’s first three selections in the 2020 draft:

1. Walker
2. Winn
7. Hence
29. Thomas
33. Antico
40. Pages
47. Loutos

Jordan Walker

Walker, 20, has 18 home runs and 22 steals, so is just two home runs away from becoming the first player in Springfield history to have a 20-20 season. The power-hitting outfielder is batting .308 with an .898 OPS and 64 RBI in 118 Double-A games and is a top-10 prospect in all of baseball.

Masyn Winn

Winn, 20, is an amazingly athletic shortstop who has stolen 41 bases, hit 35 doubles, eight triples and 12 home runs between Peoria and Springfield. He is batting .285 with a strong .837 OPS.

Tink Hence

Hence, 20, is one of the most promising pitchers in the system. Held to four innings and 60-65 pitches per start for Palm Beach, Hence posted a 1.38 ERA and struck out 81 batters in 52 1/3 innings over 16 starts.

Connor Thomas

Thomas, 24, was a prospect on the rise heading into 2022, but has struggled in the Memphis rotation. The lefty has thrown 126 1/3 innings, posting a 5.27 ERA.

Mike Antico

After stealing 37 bases through 71 games with High-A Peoria to start the season, Antico has taken 30 more with Springfield, bringing his season total to 67, seventh-most in Minor League Baseball. The 24-year-old is the first Cardinals farmhand to steal 60 or more in a season since 2001.

As a taxi squad player, Antico will be eligible to play in just two games per week.

Pedro Pages

Pages, 24, has split his season between Double-A and Triple-A, where he’s posted OPSes of .754 and .631, respectively. However, the right-handed hitter has come on as he gains more experience in the International League, with an .842 OPS over the last 30 days.

Ryan Loutos

Loutos, 23, has pitched at three levels in 2022. The non-drafted free agent signee in 2021 began his year at High-A Peoria (3.14 ERA) then excelled with Double-A Springfield (1.61 ERA) before earning a promotion to Memphis on July 1. The going has been much rougher in Triple-A, with a .412 batting average against leading to a 7.36 ERA in 22 innings.

Kyle Leahy

Leahy, 25, has been a workhorse in the Double-A rotation, but has taken his lumps in 2022 with a 5.23 ERA in 141 innings pitched. However, in his three September outings totaling 18 innings, Leahy has yielded just two runs (1.00 ERA) and fanned 15.

With Hence, Thomas and Leahy all starters, one will be selected to be a member of the Rafters rotation with the others working out of the bullpen in the AFL.


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Memphis Redbirds Notebook – 2022 Week 24


Closeout Sale – 2022 Cardinals Prospect Guide

The Cardinal Nation 2022 Prospect Guide is back for its fifth year. It includes 276 pages of in-depth commentary about the very best St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers, including dozens of color photos. Order your PDF or printed book copy today! The latter is now on closeout for 20% off!

Order TCN’s 2022 Cardinals Prospect Guide


Not yet a member?

Join The Cardinal Nation for the most comprehensive coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals from the majors through the entire minor league system.

Follow Brian Walton on Twitter @B_Walton.

© 2022 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Cardinals Minor League Notebook – September 15, 2022

photo: Logan Gragg (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 1-1 on Wednesday. The Cardinal Nation’s Player of the Day, Springfield starter Logan Gragg, yielded just one run in 6 2/3 innings with nine strikeouts. Other standouts include Roberto Baldoquin, Julio Rodriguez, Todd Lott and Irving Lopez.

Results from games played Wednesday, September 14.

Memphis 5 at Iowa 10

The Memphis Redbirds had an early 2-0 lead but trailed from the second inning on and fell to the Iowa Cubs in Des Moines by the score of 10-5 on Wednesday afternoon.

Juan Yepez’ RBI double in the first was followed by Austin Allen’s solo home run in the second. From there, the Cubs took control.

Memphis starter Connor Thomas yielded three runs in the home second and one in the fourth. A four-spot in the fifth put Iowa ahead 8-3. Thomas’ night was over after five innings. Six of the eight runs against him were earned as he took his 10th loss of the season.

Freddy Pacheco yielded the final two Cubs runs via a home run in the sixth. Ryan Loutos and T.J. McFarland added a scoreless inning each.

Roberto Baldoquín

The Redbirds scattered seven singles over the final seven innings. Roberto Baldoquin was on base four times with two hits and two walks. The infielder drove in one and scored another.

Delvin Perez and Chase Pinder each singled, walked and stole a base. They both also committed errors though Pinder also threw out a runner at third base.  Clint Coulter also had an error and Allen was charged with a passed ball.

Memphis is 67-70 on the season and is in fifth place in the International League West, 15.5 games back of first place Nashville. The Redbirds have been eliminated from playoff consideration.

Thursday’s game:  at Iowa, LHP Garrett Williams (0-6, 6.51) vs. LHP Wyatt Short, 6:38 pm CT.

Springfield 12 at Tulsa 6

The Springfield Cardinals drilled the Drillers in a 12-6 road win on Wednesday afternoon. The Cards held a 4-1 lead before blowing the game open with a five-run seventh inning.

Starter Logan Gragg was strong, yielding just a solo home run in 6 2/3 innings on seven hits and one walk with nine punchouts.

Logan Gragg

Fortunately for Springfield, they had built the big lead as the pen was leaky. Michael YaSenka yielded a run in the eighth before Griffin Roberts was charged with four runs in the ninth, including a three-run long ball.

The Cardinals offense had seven walks and 12 hits including three long balls that plated 10 of their 12 runs. Todd Lott singled and smacked a three-run home run. Julio Rodriguez contributed a grand slam in the seventh. Irving Lopez reached base four times including closing Springfield’s scoring with a three-run shot in the ninth.

Irving Lopez

Springfield is 34-31 in the second half, tied for second place in the Texas League North, 6.5 games back of first place Wichita. The Cardinals have been eliminated from playoff consideration. Four games remain in their 2022 season.

Thursday’s game:  at Tulsa, RHP Gordon Graceffo (6-4, 4.21) vs. RHP Kyle Hurt (1-4, 9.10) , 7:05 pm CT.

Palm Beach at St. Lucie off

The East Division Championship Series moves to St. Lucie for Thursday’s Game 2 with the Mets up one game to none. The Palm Beach Cardinals must win the next two games to proceed to the Florida State League championship series. A loss tonight would end their season.

Thursday’s game:  Pitchers TBA, 5:10 pm CT.


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Peoria Chiefs Notebook – 2022 Week 23


Closeout Sale – 2022 Cardinals Prospect Guide

The Cardinal Nation 2022 Prospect Guide is back for its fifth year. It includes 276 pages of in-depth commentary about the very best St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers, including dozens of color photos. Order your PDF or printed book copy today! The latter is now on closeout for 20% off!

Order TCN’s 2022 Cardinals Prospect Guide


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Join The Cardinal Nation for the most comprehensive coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals from the majors through the entire minor league system.

Follow Brian Walton on Twitter @B_Walton.

© 2022 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Cardinals Place Carlson on Injured List, Add Burleson

photo: Dylan Carlson (Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports)

The St. Louis Cardinals placed outfielder Dylan Carlson on the injured list, replacing him with prospect Alec Burleson. Conner Capel lost his 40-man roster spot as Junior Fernandez leaves the organization.



Before Wednesday night’s game against the Washington Nationals at Busch Stadium, the St. Louis Cardinals announced four player transactions.

  • OF Dylan Carlson to the 10-day injured list
  • OF Alec Burleson selected from Memphis (added to 40-man and 28-man rosters)
  • OF Conner Capel (Memphis) designated for assignment (removed from 40-man)
  • RHP Junior Fernández (Memphis) claimed off outright waivers by Pittsburgh

Dylan Carlson

Carlson, 23, recently lost his everyday playing status in center field due to struggles against right-handed pitching. The reason for the switch-hitter’s injured list move is a thumb sprain on his left hand.

Carlson’s OPS dropped from .937 in June to .692 in July and .650 in August. He was just 1-for-5 this month in very limited action.

Alec Burleson

Desiring a left-handed bat with some thump, the Cardinals decided to bring up Burleson now rather than recall Juan Yepez.

With Memphis, Burleson, 23, is slashing .331/.372/.532/.904 with 25 doubles, 20 home runs and an International League leading 87 RBI. The corner outfielder also leads the 20-team Triple-A league in hits (143) and total bases (230). Burleson is The Cardinal Nation’s no. 9 St. Louis prospect.

With he takes the field for St. Louis, Burleson will become the ninth player from the 2020 Draft class to reach the Majors and first for St. Louis (source: Cardinals Player Development).

Conner Capel

Capel, 25, was added to the 40-man on June 27 and appeared in nine games for St. Louis, going 3-for-17 and slashing .176/.211/.353/.564 before returning to Memphis. The recent ascension of Ben DeLuzio to the roster and his promotion to St. Louis made Capel expendable.

In the next week, St. Louis must trade, release or place Capel on outright waivers, from where another organization could claim him – if they have room on their 40-man roster.

Junior Fernandez

Speaking of a waiver claim of a player designated for assignment, that is why Fernandez is no longer a Cardinal and is now a Pirate. The right-handed reliever was designated for assignment on September 5.


For more

To see all players in the system by level and position plus every transaction all year ‘round, check out the always free Roster Matrix here at The Cardinal Nation, refreshed today. The Matrix also includes which 2022 draftees have signed and their team assignments when disclosed.


Exclusively for members of The Cardinal Nation

Peoria Chiefs Notebook – 2022 Week 22


Now Available – 2022 Cardinals Prospect Guide

The Cardinal Nation 2022 Prospect Guide is back for its fifth year. It includes 276 pages of in-depth commentary about the very best St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers, including dozens of color photos. Order your PDF or printed book copy today or get 20% off the spiral-bound printed version.!

Order TCN’s 2022 Cardinals Prospect Guide


Not yet a member?

Join The Cardinal Nation for the most comprehensive coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals from the majors through the entire minor league system.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnation.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.

© 2022 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Cardinal Nation’s August Player of the Month – Matt Koperniak

photo: Matt Koperniak (Springfield Cardinals)

In a virtual landslide, The Cardinal Nation’s choice as the top hitter in the St. Louis Cardinals system during August is Springfield outfielder Matt Koperniak, who bested seven other finalists.

This article details the selection of The Cardinal Nation’s Player of the Month. Considered were offensive results during July across the entire St. Louis Cardinals system, including the rookie teams in the Florida Complex League and Dominican Summer League. The winner as well as a group of seven runners up will be highlighted.

Starting with the usual 60 plate appearances requirement, a total of 32 prospects in the system qualified. Eight further separated themselves with OPSes above .800, including just one over .912.

In other words, unlike some months, this was not a difficult decision.

The above compares to 13 hitters with OPSes over .900 last month, including three above 1.100 In other words, offense was markedly down across the system in August compared to July.

However, our winner’s numbers would stand strong any month.

Double-A Springfield led the way with four finalists while Palm Beach had two and Memphis and Peoria had just one finalist each. The rookie level DSL Cardinals had no qualifiers and the FCL Cardinals had just one player meet the plate appearance criteria this month, but he fell short in OPS.

Reminder

Please remember, this is NOT the “Player of the Month Among Top Prospects”. Every player in the system has an equal chance, with only their performance during the month used to differentiate the best of the best. Age and level, which are key prospect considerations, are not factors here, either.

We will take two views of the data. The first look will be basic stats, followed by rate stats. Names are listed in the same sequence in both tables, in descending OPS order.

Basic stats

Hitter Tm G AB 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS
Matt Koperniak Spr 22 89 23 33 5 2 6 22 7 17 2 3 0.371 0.417 0.674 1.091
Jordan Walker Spr 25 90 24 28 4 0 5 14 11 25 2 1 0.311 0.390 0.522 0.912
Brady Whalen Spr 18 54 10 18 6 2 0 8 3 9 3 0 0.333 0.373 0.519 0.892
Scott Hurst Mem 19 62 7 20 3 1 0 5 15 13 6 2 0.323 0.456 0.403 0.859
R.J. Yeager PB 18 68 12 22 3 1 2 14 4 13 1 0 0.324 0.368 0.485 0.853
Victor Scott PB 21 74 17 17 4 3 2 9 17 21 10 2 0.230 0.372 0.446 0.818
Mack Chambers Peo 20 62 12 16 4 0 2 5 12 15 1 1 0.258 0.387 0.419 0.806
Chandler Redmond Spr 16 59 9 11 1 1 6 21 6 19 0 0 0.186 0.258 0.542 0.800

A substantial gap in OPS separates the top finalist from the other seven. Matt Koperniak’s 1.091 is far above Jordan Walker, whose .912 was 20 points higher than their teammate Brady Whalen.

Scott Hurst and R.J. Yeager had OPSes in the .850s with the bottom three finalists between .818 and .800 – Victor Scott, Mack Chambers and Chandler Redmond.

Koperniak led the system in home runs (six, tied with teammate Chandler Redmond) and RBI, with 22 driven in over 22 games. Also of note is Walker’s second consecutive five-homer month.

Further, Koperniak was tops in batting average (.371), slugging (.674) and OPS. Other than Koperniak, Walker was the only finalist appriaching a .300/.400/.500 slash line or better.

Jordan Walker

Memphis’ Hurst paced the way in on-base percentage at .456. The outfielder impressively walked more (15) than he struck out (13).

First-year outfielder Scott batted just .230, but thanks to a strong eye at the plate, still delivered a .372 OBP. The speedster also stole 10 bases in 12 attempts.

August OPSes from non-finalist qualifiers of note include Alec Burleson at .692, Masyn Winn at .778, Won-Bin Cho at .626 and Jeremy Rivas at .511.

Advanced stats

Hitter Tm PA GO/AO BABIP ISO AB/HR BB/K BB% K%
Matt Koperniak Spr 95 2.00 0.415 0.310 14.5 0.313 5.4% 17.2%
Jordan Walker Spr 105 1.18 0.383 0.221 17.2 0.478 10.9% 22.8%
Brady Whalen Spr 60 0.38 0.391 0.185 0.333 5.0% 15.0%
Scott Hurst Mem 79 0.88 0.400 0.081 1.154 19.0% 16.5%
R.J. Yeager PB 76 0.55 0.358 0.169 32.5 0.333 5.5% 16.4%
Victor Scott PB 99 1.10 0.275 0.229 35.0 0.895 17.9% 20.0%
Mack Chambers Peo 76 0.88 0.311 0.161 31.0 0.800 15.8% 19.7%
Chandler Redmond Spr 66 0.87 0.152 0.375 9.3 0.333 9.5% 28.6%

As we get into additional stats, we see that good fortune in the guise of a .415 BABIP was on Koperniak’s side. Yet, a number of other finalists had high BABIPs as well.

At the other end of the scale is Redmond, who was under the Mendoza Line in batting average (.186). But some of that can be explained by a terribly unlucky .152 BABIP for the month. His power was his redeeming factor.

Koperniak was the most ground-ball prone of the finalists by a considerable margin, but his isolated power was second only to Redmond.

Scott and Peoria’s Chambers joined Hurst as the having the best walk rates and walk-to-strikeout ratios.

Koperniak’s walk rate was near the bottom of the finalists, but his strikeout rate was reasonably in the middle, especially considering his power shown. Really, only Redmond’s K rate was noticeably high.

When all is said and done, Koperniak’s exceptional month in almost all major statistical categories gives him the honors as The Cardinal Nation’s August Player of the Month.

About the winner

Koperniak had an eventful and productive 2021. In his first professional action, he competed at three different levels of the system, including a positive stint at Double-A to end the year.

Matt Koperniak

This season, the OPS of the left-handed hitter hung around the .700’s during April, May and June.

However, since July 1, the 24-year-old has been a different hitter. His July batting average and OBP were almost the same as he went on to put up in August. The huge difference was a month-to-month jump in slugging from .500 to .674 – and OPS from .912 to the aforementioned 1.091.

Koperniak was the Texas League Player of the Week for the period of August 8-14, primarily on the strength of his performance on the 10th, when he hit for the cycle with four RBI and three runs scored.

Koperniak is currently The Cardinal Nation’s 41st-ranked prospect, down from no. 35 during the prior offseason primarily due to others entering the rankings ahead of him. His recent play speaks well for a ranking rebound, however.

How last month’s winner fared this month

The consensus selection as July Player of the Month by both The Cardinal Nation and Cardinals organization (shared) was Palm Beach-Peoria outfielder Patrick Romeri. (The Cardinals split their award with Springfield outfielder Chase Pinder.)

During August, Romeri took a major downturn at his new level, from his 1.226 OPS last month to just .480 (.179/.266/.214/.480 in 56 at-bats with the Chiefs.

Pinder fared much better, with an August line of .226/.424/.355/.779.

What is next?

The Cardinals organization should also name their own selections of July Player and Pitcher of the Month this week.

Related article

The Cardinal Nation’s August Pitcher of the Month – Andrew Marrero

Exclusively for members of The Cardinal Nation

Memphis Redbirds Notebook – 2022 Week 22

Now Available – 2022 Cardinals Prospect Guide

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Cardinals Expand Local Flavor with Naile and DeLuzio

photo: James Naile (Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports)

September 1 marks the day when Major League Baseball teams are allowed to increase the number of active players on their roster from 26 to 28.

Accordingly, on Thursday, the St. Louis Cardinals announced the return of right-handed reliever James Naile and the 40-man addition of outfielder Ben DeLuzio. The two hail from Cape Girardeau and St. Louis, respectively.

Naile posted a 1.17 ERA in nine August appearances (15 1/3 innings) for Memphis with 16 strikeouts and only three walks. More details of his August performance can be read in The Cardinal Nation’s Pitcher of the Month article.

James Naile

The rookie Naile, a ground ball specialist, has been effective with St. Louis this season with six shutout innings on two hits with no walks and four strikeouts. He was last optioned to Memphis on July 30.

The Cardinals signed Naile, 29, to a minor league contract on November 17, 2021. He had been originally drafted by Oakland in the 20th round in 2015.

DeLuzio, 28, will make his MLB debut with his first appearance. The outfielder, who was primarily a center fielder with Memphis, will be the first minor league Rule 5 selection by the Cardinals to make his MLB debut with the club since John Brebbia in May 2017.

Since May 24, DeLuzio is slashing .300/.372/.440/.812 with 23 extra-base hits and 23 stolen bases. However, he has struggled most recently. In August his slash line was just .220/.246/.271/.513. Even his speed slumped as he was just 1-for-4 in stolen base attempts last month.

Ben DeLuzio

DeLuzio uses the Cardinals’ last open 40-man roster spot, which was created when the club designated for assignment (and later released) T.J. McFarland on August 10.

Another 40-man spot will be needed very soon for Jack Flaherty, tentatively scheduled to start for St. Louis on Monday vs. Washington. Candidates to be removed from the roster may include Conner Capel and Kramer Robertson.

For more

To see all players in the system by level and position plus every transaction all year ‘round, check out the always free Roster Matrix here at The Cardinal Nation, refreshed today. The Matrix also includes which 2022 draftees have signed and their team assignments when disclosed.


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The Cardinal Nation Prospect Interview – Catcher Jimmy Crooks


Now Available – 2022 Cardinals Prospect Guide

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The Cardinal Nation’s August Pitcher of the Month – Andrew Marrero

photo: Andrew Marrero (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

From among 12 finalists, is The Cardinal Nation’s choice as the top pitcher in the St. Louis Cardinals system during August the rookie ball starter with a 0.00 ERA or the late-inning reliever with tremendous results?

It is time for The Cardinal Nation’s final Pitcher of the Month for 2022. This article covers pitchers across all levels of the St. Louis Cardinals system during August.

As a reminder, this is NOT the “Pitcher of the Month Among Top Prospects”. Every individual in the system has an equal chance, with only their performance during the month used to differentiate the best of the best. Age and level, which are key prospect considerations, are not factors here.

Guidelines

To qualify, a pitcher must have thrown at least 10 innings during August. 43 pitchers made the first cut. To reach the list of finalists, an ERA of 2.00 or below was required.  This was a very aggressive target, but still generated 12 names. Three are starters and nine work primarily out of the bullpen.

The 12 finalists’ ERA broke out into four distinct groups: one pitcher with no runs allowed, two with ERAs between 0.56 and 0.71, four with ERAs between 1.17 and 1.59, and five pitchers with ERAs from 1.80 to 2.00. All performed very well this past month.

Counting Stats

The 12 finalists represent five of the six levels of the organization, from Triple-A Memphis to the rookie level Dominican Summer League. The only exception is the rookie Florida Complex League, from where Omar Sanchez would have qualified if not for a rough single-game debut with Palm Beach.

The High-A Peoria Chiefs are most highly represented with four finalists.

In the following table, finalists are listed in ascending ERA order.

Pitcher Tm W L ERA G GS CG IP H R ER HR HB BB K WHIP BAA
Nelfy Ynfante DSL 0 0 0.00 3 3 0 12 10 0 0 0 0 6 10 1.33 0.227
Chris Roycroft Peo 1 0 0.56 8 0 0 16 11 3 1 0 1 5 19 1.00 0.186
Andrew Marrero PB 0 3 0.71 12 0 0 12.2 5 4 1 0 1 3 24 0.63 0.119
Gustavo Rodriguez PB 1 0 1.17 6 0 0 15.1 11 3 2 0 0 4 12 0.98 0.193
James Naile Mem 1 0 1.17 9 0 0 15.1 14 2 2 1 1 3 16 1.11 0.255
Nick Trogrlic-Iverson Peo 0 1 1.21 8 0 0 22.1 15 5 3 1 3 2 18 0.76 0.188
Johan Quezada Mem 0 0 1.59 7 0 0 11.1 11 2 2 0 0 4 17 1.32 0.275
Zach McAllister Mem 0 1 1.80 8 0 0 10 8 4 2 0 1 1 11 0.90 0.229
Andre Granillo Peo 0 2 1.80 8 0 0 10 6 5 2 0 0 3 18 0.90 0.171
Jose Davila PB 1 0 1.86 6 5 0 29 18 10 6 2 2 18 18 1.24 0.180
Zane Mills Peo 2 1 1.91 5 5 0 28.1 28 7 6 0 2 4 19 1.13 0.252
Michael Brettell Spr 1 2 2.00 10 0 0 18 10 4 4 0 1 11 13 1.17 0.175

Here is this month’s dilemma. Do we award a pitcher who competes overseas?

Based on his zero ERA, and in fact, with no unearned runs yielded either, DSL starter Nelfy Ynfante has earned the highest consideration.

Should another pitcher who allowed runs while competing on a higher level team step past Ynfante?

For Nelfy

Normally, a starter may receive the edge in a close comparison such as this, simply because they pitch more innings. However, that does not apply here, as Ynfante’s workload was very closely monitored and limited.

Nelfy Ynfante

Ynfante, just 17 years of age in his first professional season, was held to just four innings per August outing. But in his defense, that is very similar to the background of our July Pitcher of the Month, Palm Beach’s Tink Hence.

The other two pitchers to post August ERAs under 1.00, Peoria’s Chris Roycroft and Palm Beach’s Andrew Marrero, each compiled a lower batting average against and lower WHIP than Ynfante.

Yet, while both Roycroft and Marrero gave up just one earned run each, multiple unearned runs were also tallied during their mound time.

So, is Ynfante’s 0.00 ERA good enough?

Advanced stats

Here are additional measures from the same 12 finalists in the same ascending ERA sequence.

Pitcher Tm TBF NP P/IP QS WP GO/AO K/9 BB/9 K/BB BABIP SB CS
Nelfy Ynfante DSL 50 94 7.8 0 1 0.71 7.5 4.5 1.7 0.294 1 2
Chris Roycroft Peo 66 258 16.1 0 0 0.67 10.7 2.8 3.8 0.268 1 0
Andrew Marrero PB 42 176 15.1 0 2 0.56 16.2 0.8 21.0 0.263 3 0
Gustavo Rodriguez PB 61 226 14.7 0 1 1.83 7.0 2.4 3.0 0.244 1 0
James Naile Mem 54 205 14.3 0 2 2.13 10.1 1.9 5.3 0.303 0 0
Nick Trogrlic-Iverson Peo 85 306 13.7 0 0 1.47 7.3 0.8 9.0 0.230 1 0
Johan Quezada Mem 44 172 15.2 0 2 0.71 13.5 3.2 4.3 0.478 0 1
Zach McAllister Mem 38 162 16.2 0 0 1.13 9.9 0.9 11.0 0.320 2 2
Andre Granillo Peo 40 182 18.2 0 2 0.44 16.2 2.7 6.0 0.333 4 0
Jose Davila PB 121 441 15.2 1 1 1.17 5.6 5.6 1.0 0.198 5 0
Zane Mills Peo 118 384 13.6 3 0 1.6 6.0 1.3 4.8 0.301 1 0
Michael Brettell Spr 70 278 15.4 0 0 1.69 6.5 5.5 1.2 0.222 0 2

Ynfante stands out with an exceptional 7.8 pitches per inning, almost half the rate of the other 11.

While Ynfante is the third most fly ball prone of the finalists, it is Roycroft and Marrero who are slightly worse. Ynfante also had the third highest walk rate of the 12, which is quite surprising considering his pitch efficiency.

Between Roycroft and Marrero, the latter has the best case to unseat Ynfante.

Not only did Marrero have the best (by far) strikeout to walk ratio of 21:1 among our finalists, he saved six of seven opportunities for the Beach Birds. 10 of his 12 appearances came in the late innings with the game on the line. Marrero’s strikeout rate was highest (16.2 per nine, tied) and his walk rate was lowest among the 12 finalists (0.8 per nine).

Ynfante’s strikeout and walk rates were pedestrian, but there is that 0.00 ERA…

Marrero drill down

Before making my final decision, I went into Marrero’s August game log to understand his three run-scoring outings. (In most of the other nine appearances, he didn’t even allow a hit.)

The 22-year-old took the loss in all of the run-scoring games, ironically held on consecutive Wednesdays. The extra innings ghost runner was prominent in two of the three situations with a pair of teammate errors hurting him in the third.

August 10 at Bradenton: Marrero threw the 10th. He wild pitched the ghost runner to third base, from where the latter scored on a sacrifice fly. Unearned run and loss.

August 17 vs. Ft. Myers: Marrero took over in the eighth with two outs and two runners on and escaped the jam. He then pitched a clean ninth and 10th. Asked to take the 11th as well, he allowed an RBI single, scoring the ghost runner, before finishing the inning with no further damage. Unearned run and loss. The 3 1/3 innings pitched was the longest outing of his two-year professional career.

August 24 at St. Lucie: This is Marrero’s only real failure, in my view, and he had a lot of help. Asked to protect a one-run lead in the ninth, Marrero gave up a single, but a two-base throwing error by catcher Jimmy Crooks put the tying run on third with no out. A triple plated the first run and that batter continued home to score the walk off run on a throwing error by shortstop Jeremy Rivas. Only one of the two runs was earned. Blown save and loss.

Now that I understand the circumstances surrounding the few blemishes on Marrero’s strong August record, I am comfortable making the Connecticut native The Cardinal Nation’s August Pitcher of the Month.

Standout finalists

It is very difficult to compete with no runs allowed, but the other finalists also had standout results.

For example, Memphis reliever James Naile’s 2.13:1 ground ball to fly ball ratio led the group by a considerable margin. That is a skiil that can used by St. Louis again.

Though their ERAs were among the “highest” of a very good group, starters Jose Davila (Palm Beach) and Zane Mills (Peoria) still registered stellar ERAs under 2.00.

However, the biggest consolation prize has to go to Peoria’s Nick Trogrlic-Iverson. Before being lit up for five earned runs on August 31, the reliever had thrown 20 innings with no runs allowed. A certain winner fell back into the pack on the very last night of the month.

About the winner

Right-hander Andrew Marrero was selected by St. Louis in the 18th round of the 2021 draft from UConn. Assigned to the High-A Palm Beach pen after signing, Marrero struggled to a 10.13 ERA in 13 appearances.

Andrew Marrero

Returning to the same Florida State League club for 2022, the New Haven, CT native had a rough start in May (7.71 ERA) before taking hold. In his 25 outings since the end of May, he has allowed just three earned runs on eight hits in 29 2/3 innings while striking out 48 batters.

Congratulations to The Cardinal Nation’s August Pitcher of the Month, Andrew Marrero.

How last month’s winner fared this month

As noted, our July selection as Pitcher of the Month was Palm Beach right-hander Tink Hence.

Tink Hence

If not for one mildly rough outing, the first real stumble of his career, Hence might have been a back-to-back winner. In the third of his five August outings, he allowed three runs in 2 1/3 innings. Otherwise, his ERA for the month was 0.61. All five starts included, his August ERA was still just 2.12 for The Cardinal Nation’s 10th-ranked prospect

What is next?

On Friday, look for The Cardinal Nation will announce our Player of the Month for August across the system. The Cardinals organization should also name their own selections soon.


Exclusively for members of The Cardinal Nation

The Cardinal Nation Prospect Interview – Catcher Jimmy Crooks


Now Available – 2022 Cardinals Prospect Guide

The Cardinal Nation 2022 Prospect Guide is back for its fifth year. It includes 276 pages of in-depth commentary about the very best St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers, including dozens of color photos. Order your PDF or printed book copy today!

Order TCN’s 2022 Cardinals Prospect Guide


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© 2022 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Cardinals Welcome Back Arenado and Thompson

photo: Zack Thompson (Memphis Redbirds)

On Saturday, August 27, the St. Louis Cardinals turned over two of their 26 active roster spots for the second consecutive day. The first two transactions below undid moves made on Friday. The other is the culmination of the downward slide of the team’s best left-handed reliever last season.

  • Reinstated 3B Nolan Arenado from the Paternity List
  • Optioned 1B/ OF Juan Yepez to Memphis
  • Recalled LHP Zack Thompson from Memphis
  • Optioned LHP Génesis Cabrera to Memphis

Additional Saturday minor league move:

  • RHP Edgar Manzo reinstated from Peoria’s 7-day injured list

Arenado, 31, has been one of his team’s hottest hitters this month, The third baseman missed just one game to be with his wife, who gave birth on Thursday. Arenado will be batting cleanup for St. Louis on Saturday night.

Nolan Arenado

Yepez. 24, had been hitting well with Memphis, but there is no room for him on the roster currently. This time up, Yepez went 0-for-1 with two runners on base in Friday night’s blowout home loss to the Braves.

Juan Yepez

Thompson is in a transformation from starter to late inning left-handed reliever. In his last time sent down, on August 4, the Cardinals told him he needs to demonstrate that he can work on consecutive days. That did not occur as of yet, but the 24-year-old was unscored upon in his last five one-inning appearances back to August 16.

Zack Thompson

Cabrera, 25, was strong for St. Louis in 2020 and 2021, but has struggled over the last two months of 2022 At the end of June, his ERA was 2.27. After sitting out from June 22 until July 9, Cabrera allowed 14 earned runs in 14 appearances totaling just 13 innings. He has not been in Triple-A for over two years – since August 2020.

As a result of recent moves, the Cardinals have completely revamped the left side of their pen with trade acquisition JoJo Romero and Thompson replacing Cabrera and T.J. McFarland. The latter two are not together again in Memphis.

Genesis Cabrera

Manzo, 24, had been on Peoria’s injured list since August 4. He began 2022 with Palm Beach, from where he pitched until his promotion to High-A on June 17. With Peoria, Manzo made five starts and four relief appearances, logging a difficult 9.75 ERA over 24 innings. The right-hander yielded 39 hits and walked 13, so there has been a lot of traffic on the bases.

Edgar Manzo


For more

To see all players in the system by level and position plus every transaction all year ‘round, check out the always free Roster Matrix here at The Cardinal Nation, refreshed today. The Matrix also includes which 2022 draftees have signed and their team assignments when disclosed.


Exclusively for members of The Cardinal Nation

Brian Walton’s Palm Beach Cardinals Notes


Now Available – 2022 Cardinals Prospect Guide

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Cardinals Adjust Roster for Braves Weekend

photo: Nolan Arenado (Joe Puetz/USA TODAY Sports)

In preparation for their home weekend series against the Atlanta Braves, the St. Louis Cardinals turned over two roster spaces on Friday, August 26.

  • 3B Nolan Arenado was placed on Paternity Leave
  • IF/OF Juan Yepez was promoted to St. Louis from Memphis
  • RHR Ryan Helsley was activated from the Restricted List
  • LHR Packy Naughton was optioned to Memphis

Arenado’s wife has already had their new baby. The third baseman is allowed up to 72 hours on the Paternity List.

Arenado, 31, has been one of his team’s hottest hitters this month. His seven home runs and 22 RBI are tied for the MLB August lead, while his 16 extra bases and 59 total bases lead MLB. His .694 slugging percentage ranks 3rd behind teammate Paul Goldschmidt (.714). Arenado’s home run and RBI totals are his most in any month of the 2022 season.

Nolan Arenado

Yepez, 24, was placed on St. Louis’ 10-day injured list on July 15 with a right forearm strain. He was sent on a rehab assignment to Memphis on August 9 and was optioned to the Triple-A club on August 19.

In this latest stint in Triple-A, the right-handed hitter slashed .263/.349/.605/.954. In 11 games, Yepez hit four home runs and plated 10.

Juan Yepez

Helsley, 28, needed more time than the allotted 72 hours on the Paternity List so was moved to the Restricted List. He went on the PL one week ago and moved to the RL on the 23rd. The closer missed one week in total.

Helsley is leading the Cardinals with 12 saves and all National League relief pitchers in wins (7), ERA (0.91), opponent batting average (.120), WHIP (0.66) and baserunners/9 innings (5.98).

Ryan Helsley

Naughton, 26, joined St. Louis most recently on June 24, so spent over two months in the majors this time up. That stint included 14 appearances for 14 2/3 innings and a 4.91 ERA. Naughton fanned 16 and walked five.

Packy Naughton

For more

To see all players in the system by level and position plus every transaction all year ‘round, check out the always free Roster Matrix here at The Cardinal Nation, refreshed today. The Matrix also includes which 2022 draftees have signed and their team assignments when disclosed.


Now Available – 2022 Cardinals Prospect Guide

The Cardinal Nation 2022 Prospect Guide is back for its fifth year. It includes 276 pages of in-depth commentary about the very best St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers, including dozens of color photos. Order your PDF or printed book copy today!

Order TCN’s 2022 Cardinals Prospect Guide


Not yet a member?

Join The Cardinal Nation for the most comprehensive coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals from the majors through the entire minor league system.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnation.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.

© 2022 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.