All posts by Brian Walton

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

Cardinals Ponce de Leon, Baker Earn Weekly League Honors

photo: Luken Baker (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The St. Louis Cardinals have a Pitcher and Player of the Week across the minors. Memphis’ Daniel Ponce de Leon is the Pacific Coast League’s top pitcher and Palm Beach first baseman Luken Baker was named top hitter in the Florida State League for the period of August 5-11.


Ponce de Leon (Memphis Redbirds release)

Memphis Redbirds starting pitcher Daniel Ponce de Leon has been named the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week for August 5-11, the league announced Monday.

Ponce de Leon earned the honor after throwing seven scoreless frames and allowing just two hits on Friday’s 15-0 Memphis win over the Sacramento River Cats (Giants) in Sacramento. He struck out a season-high 11 batters, which was also the most strikeouts by a Redbirds pitcher this season, and issued no walks.

In his last three starts with Memphis, Ponce de Leon has allowed just three hits and no runs over 14.0 innings of work, whiffing 21 batters compared to issuing six walks.

In 13 starts for the Redbirds this season, Ponce de Leon is 5-4 with a 3.26 ERA with 66 strikeouts in 66.1 innings. He has held opponents to just a .211 average against. If he qualified, Ponce de Leon would have the lowest ERA and lowest average against among PCL league leaders.

This is Ponce de Leon’s second PCL weekly award. He won this award last season during the week of July 9-15, 2018. He joins fellow pitchers Austin Gomber (April 15-21) and Jake Woodford (June 17-23) as Redbirds players to capture a PCL weekly award this season.

Daniel Ponce de Leon


Baker

Palm Beach first baseman Luken Baker is the Florida State League Player of the Week for the period of August 5-11. In five games, St. Louis’ second-round draft pick in 2018 had eight hits in 16 at-bats for a .500 average. Five of those eight hits went for extra bases – four doubles and a home run.

Baker also drew three walks, drove in three, scored five runs and fanned just twice. His slash line for the week was a most impressive .500/.579/.938/1.517.

This is a welcome oasis for the famished right-handed hitter, who came into the week with a season slash line of .223/.311/.332/.643. It is now up to .235/.323/.358/.681. Baker dropped to 30th in the July top prospect rankings from The Cardinal Nation.

Luken Baker


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

A Cardinals Minors Pitching Injury Leads to a Pair of Promotions


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. Annual members may purchase the new 2019 Prospect Guide PDF for less than half price. In addition, our limited edition printed and bound Guides are $5 off, so get yours today!

© 2019 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Cardinals Fire Assistant Hitting Coach Mark Budaska

photo: Mark Budaska (Michael McLoone/Imagn)

St. Louis Cardinals communication

On Monday afternoon, August 12, the club made the following announcements via Twitter.


Brian Walton’s take

Well, this is a surprise.

While the Cardinals offense overall has been a disappointment this season, the assistant hitting coach is not the most impactful position on the team. Further, “Buda” had a reputation as a valued teacher over a long tenure in the organization, serving as Memphis’ hitting coach from 2008 through 2018 under a number of managers, including Mike Shildt, Stubby Clapp and Ron “Pop” Warner.

Then again, perhaps one should not be surprised, as Budaska, 66, is the third assistant hitting coach to be fired by the Cardinals in the last three years. Derrick May was let go following the 2016 season and Bill Mueller was dismissed along with Mike Matheny and John Mabry last July.

The numbers indicate the 2019 Cardinals are currently 13th of 15 National League teams with a collective .722 OPS and 13th in run-scoring at 4.47 per game.

Jeff Albert (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

One would have to assume that hitting coach Jeff Albert, who inherited Budaska when joining the organization over the winter, has decided he wants his own right-hand man. That the move was made now, rather than after the season, suggests a sense of urgency.

It will be interesting to see if the offense responds over the final seven weeks of the season, and if so, how.

Update: Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak spoke to MLB.com about the move.

“It really came down to philosophical differences in what we’re trying to do,” Mozeliak said. “As the season wore on, we just didn’t feel like it was clicking. Ultimately, we had to make a decision. I’ve really enjoyed my time working with Buddha, but we felt like for the better good that we had to make a change.”

Jimenez, 41, a former infielder, moved into being a scout and instructor in 1994. He joined the Cardinals organization 13 seasons ago, working his way up from coaching hitters in the (now defunct) Venezuelan Summer League to the Gulf Coast League, Peoria and Springfield. This was (obviously) his first season leading the Triple-A hitters.

Last year, when Budaska was with St. Louis, the organization used multiple rotating coaches to replace him at Memphis and with just three weeks remaining in the season, my guess is this approach will be used again to cover for Jimenez at Triple-A.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

A Cardinals Minors Pitching Injury Leads to a Pair of Promotions


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. Annual members may purchase the new 2019 Prospect Guide PDF for less than half price. In addition, our limited edition printed and bound Guides are $5 off, so get yours today!

© 2019 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Cardinals Add Randy Arozarena and Yadier Molina

photo: Randy Arozarena (Frank Ramirez/The Cardinal Nation)

The St. Louis Cardinals are promoting prospect outfielder Randy Arozarena from Memphis, activating catcher Yadier Molina from the injured list, placing outfielder Jose Martinez on the IL and optioning catcher Andrew Knizner to Memphis.


St. Louis Cardinals press release

The St. Louis Cardinals optioned catcher Andrew Knizner (KIZZ-ner) to their Triple-A Memphis affiliate following Sunday afternoon’s game with Pittsburgh. Prior to Tuesday’s game at Kansas City, the Cardinals will activate catcher Yadier Molina (yah-DEE-air) from the 10-day Injured List (right thumb tendon strain), place outfielder José Martínez on the 10-day Injured List with a right AC joint sprain and select outfielder Randy Arozarena (ahh-ROW-sa-ray-na) from Memphis.

Arozarena, 24, an international free agent out of Havana, Cuba, has played in 80 minor league games between Springfield (AA) and Memphis this season and has batted .349 with 10 home runs, 42 RBI, 23 doubles, three triples and has stolen 16 bases. He was named the Cardinals Minor League Player of the Month in June and July and became the third Memphis Redbirds player to ever hit for the cycle coming on June 26 against Oklahoma City. Currently, Arozarena has reached base safely in his last 37 straight starts and is slashing .368/.442/.568 in 52 games at Memphis. Arozarena has played in 319 career minor league games in the Cardinals organization.

Randy Arozarena

Molina, 37, was placed on the Injured List on July 8 and has missed 28 Major League games, which including a minor league rehabilitation assignment to Memphis and Springfield. The nine-time All-Star and Rawlings Gold Glove winner was 3-for-20 with a home run, six RBI in eight games during his rehab. He was batting .261 with 4 HR and 36 RBI in 71 games when he was placed on the I.L. The Cardinals went 17-11 in his absence.

Yadier Molina

Martínez, 31, was removed from Sunday afternoon’s game against Pittsburgh in the 5th inning after colliding with the right field wall in pursuit of a fly ball. He was batting .266 with 10 HR and 40 RBI in 118 games this season.

Jose Martinez

Knizner, 24, played in 11 games since his most recent recall and hit safely in his last eight starts.

Andrew Knizner

Arozarena will wear uniform No. 66.


Brian Walton’s take

The intrigue here is about playing time going forward.

However, that is not the case behind the plate. While veteran Matt Wieters did a credible job filling in, Molina will almost certainly return to daily play.

The Cardinals had an open 40-man roster spot following the removal of reliever Adalberto Mejia last week, which they used on Arozarena.

It will be interesting to see how playing time is shared among the outfielders. Veterans Marcell Ozuna and Dexter Fowler will likely continue to be in the lineup almost every day, with right field potentially open – that is, unless manager Mike Shildt continues to play infielder Tommy Edman out there as he did in four starts this past week.

Then there is the question of Lane Thomas, who seemed to have been given his one farewell start on Sunday after receiving no starts and just five plate appearances in his  first 10 days on St. Louis’ roster this time up. Thomas stepped up in a huge way Sunday, plating five with a triple and a grand slam and throwing out a Pirates runner at home plate in his lone start.

Lane Thomas

The injury to Martinez enabled the Cardinals to avoid an uncomfortable situation, while temporarily creating roster room for both Thomas and Arozarena. But who will play – and when?

While the Cardinals have two upcoming games with the designated hitter in Kansas City, that is it.

Both Arozarena and Thomas had been hitting well for Memphis and are well-balanced players. Randy is a better pure hitter, but Thomas has more power. Both can play center field as well as the corners, though Thomas had the priority in the past. Both are projected as reserve outfielders eventually.

Does Thomas’ lack of use suggest the same is ahead for Arozarena – late-game defensive insertions plus a few stray at-bats? Or do the Cards see the Cuban as a better prospect? In our July rankings here at The Cardinal Nation, Thomas was seventh and Arozarena ninth.

Looking out a week or more at the potential landscape ahead, the road map does not get clearer.

Tyler O’Neill is progressing toward a return from his IL stint, and still seems to have the highest ceiling of all the Cardinals’ 40-man outfield candidates. However, the prognosis for Martinez is unknown. Will O’Neill resume his audition for 2020 or be shuffled into the background?

Rosters will expand in just under three weeks, with Harrison Bader also likely to rejoin St. Louis for the final month.

But back to the here and now. With the ability to start only three outfielders on any given day, how will Shildt distribute playing time, starting on Tuesday, and then with no designated hitter on Friday against Cincinnati and beyond?

Stay tuned!


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

St. Louis Cardinals 40-Man Roster Removal Candidates


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. Annual members may purchase the new 2019 Prospect Guide PDF for less than half price. In addition, our limited edition printed and bound Guides are $5 off, so get yours today!

© 2019 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Cardinals Add Reliever Junior Fernandez, Drop Adalberto Mejia

photo: Junior Fernandez (Frank Ramirez/The Cardinal Nation)

Junior Fernandez (USA TODAY Sports Images)

St. Louis Cardinals press release

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today (Tuesday, August 6) that they have purchased rookie right-handed pitcher Junior Fernandez from Memphis (AAA).  Fernandez, 22, will be making his Major League debut with his first game appearance, the seventh Cardinal rookie to debut in 2019.   The team also announced that left-handed pitcher Adalberto Mejía has been designated for assignment and right-handed pitcher Mike Mayers has been outrighted to Memphis.

Adalberto Mejia (Jasen Vinlove/Imagn)

Fernandez, signed by the Cardinals on July 2, 2014 as an international free-agent out of the Dominican Republic, has combined to go 2-1 with a 1.47 ERA and 11 saves in 42 games between Palm Beach (High-A), Springfield (AA) and Memphis (AAA) this season.

The 6-2, 211-pound Fernandez went 0-1 with a 1.54 ERA in nine games with Palm Beach, 1-1, 1.55 ERA in 18 games with Springfield and 1-0, 1.31 ERA in 15 games with Memphis.  He has yet to allow a home run in his 61.1 innings pitched, striking out 76 to go along with a 1.08 WHIP.

Mike Mayers (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

Since making his debut with Memphis on June 25, Fernandez has allowed runs in just three games, striking out 23 batters in 20.2 innings pitched.  He’s allowed runs in just nine of 42 games overall and multiple runs in just two games.

Fernandez has compiled a 19-18 mark with a 3.58 ERA in 126 career games (52 starts) in the minors, totaling 390.0 innings pitched and 322 strikeouts since debuting as a professional in 2014 in the Dominican Summer League.

Mejia, a waiver claim by the Cardinals on July 30, has appeared in two games with St. Louis.   Mayers, who was designated for assignment on Sunday, has appeared in just 12 games with St. Louis in a season that has been slowed by injury.

Fernandez has been assigned uniform no. 44.


Brian Walton’s take

Given the extremely short rope given Mejia, the Cardinals must not have been very convinced about him when claiming him. Granted, he did not impress in those two outings. His 40-man spot was used on Fernandez.

Fernandez has dominated at three levels this season and has definitely earned a shot, though he was not “purchased” – his contract was. This is terminology used when a player is added to the 40-man roster. To put into perspective the 2019 rebirth of Fernandez as a prospect, just nine months ago, he went unclaimed in the Rule 5 Draft.

Speaking of unclaimed, Mayers being outrighted means that none of the other 29 MLB teams wanted him while on waivers. He joins part-current bullpen mate Chasen Shreve, who followed the same path recently (DFA, unclaimed, outright to Memphis).


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

Springfield’s Zach Kirtley is Having Fun and Staying Consistent


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. Annual members may purchase the new 2019 Prospect Guide PDF for less than half price. In addition, our limited edition printed and bound Guides are $5 off, so get yours today!

© 2019 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Carpenter and Helsley Return to St. Louis Cardinals

photo: Matt Carpenter (Benny Sieu/USA TODAY Sports)

St. Louis Cardinals press release

The St. Louis Cardinals announced a series of roster moves prior to their series finale in Oakland today, (Sunday, August 4,) activating infielder Matt Carpenter from the 10-day Injured List and recalling right-handed pitcher Ryan Helsley from Memphis (AAA).  The team also announced that first baseman/outfielder Rangel Ravelo has been optioned to Memphis and right-handed pitcher Mike Mayers has been designated for assignment.

Carpenter, who has been on the Injured List since July 16 with a right foot contusion, completed a nine-game injury rehabilitation tour this past week, going 2-for-26 with seven walks between Springfield (5 games) and Memphis (4 games).  Carpenter is batting .215 with 10 HR and 29 RBI in 81 games this season.

Matt Carpenter

Helsley is being recalled for the sixth time this season.   The rookie right-hander has gone 0-0 with a 2.92 ERA in eight games with the Cardinals, striking out 13 in 12.1 innings pitched.  He has appeared in 17 games (seven starts) for Memphis, compiling a 2-3 mark with a 4.58.   Helsley has been used as a starter in his last two outings at Memphis, including a scoreless 3.0-inning effort on July 31 vs. Albuquerque.

Ryan Helsley

Ravelo has appeared in 14 games for St. Louis, collecting a pair of pinch-hit doubles during last week’s home stand.

Rangel Ravelo

Mayers worked 1.1 innings in relief last (Saturday) night, his fourth appearance since returning from the 60-day Injured List on July 23.

Mike Mayers

The Cardinals activated outfielder Marcell Ozuna from the Injured List prior to last night’s game and catcher Yadier Molina, out since July 8 due to a right thumb tendon strain, is currently on an injury rehabilitation assignment with Memphis.

Cardinals Activate Ozuna, Place O’Neill on Injured List


Brian Walton’s take

Carpenter’s return was expected, with Helsley’s move not. Then again, Mayers continued his inconsistency Saturday night, with not enough good pitches and too many balls, using up his last strike in the organization. The right-hander has no more minor league options remaining. I expect he will be claimed by another organization, if not traded.

Helsley should move into a long relief role, as he played for Memphis, and Carpenter returning to his regular spot at third base. The main question is whether Carpenter can put his season-long slump behind him, though his rehab results did not indicate a change. How Tommy Edman and Yairo Muñoz, younger players who received more work while Carpenter was out, will be deployed now that Carpenter is back will also bear watching.

Memphis’ roster remains whole, with Helsley out and Ravelo back in. Mayers is immediately removed from St. Louis’ 40-man roster, creating an opening that can be re-used on an internal or external option. Mayers’ fate will be decided in the next seven days – waiver clear (report to Memphis), waiver claim, trade or release.


For more

To track the 25- and 40-man rosters as well as all players in the system by position and level, check out the Roster Matrix, always free and updated here at The Cardinal Nation. Also included is every player transaction across the full organization all year long.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

State College Spikes Notebook – 2019 Week 7


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. Annual members may purchase the new 2019 Prospect Guide PDF for less than half price. In addition, our limited edition printed and bound Guides are $5 off, so get yours today!

© 2019 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Cardinals Activate Ozuna, Place O’Neill on Injured List

photo: Marcell Ozuna (Orlando Ramirez/Imagn)

St. Louis Cardinals press release

Marcell Ozuna (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today (Saturday, August 3) that they have activated outfielder Marcell Ozuna from the 10-day Injured List and placed outfielder Tyler O’Neill (left wrist strain) on the 10-day Injured List, retroactive to August 1.

Ozuna, who has been sidelined since suffering finger fractures to his right hand on June 28, has missed 28 games while on the Injured List.  Ozuna was producing at an All-Star level at the time of his injury, batting .259 with a then team-high 20 HR and 62 RBI in 78 games.  His RBI total still leads the team.

Tyler O’Neill (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

In three injury rehab games with Memphis (AAA) earlier this week, Ozuna was 4-for-9 (.444) with 6 RBI.   He homered, doubled and had five RBI in a three-hit game vs. Albuquerque on Thursday (August 1).

O’Neill is batting .279 with 5 HR and 16 RBI in 46 games this season, including a .301 mark with 4 HR and 12 RBI in 23 July games.  He was also on the Injured List April 16-25 with a right elbow injury.


Brian Walton’s take

Lane Thomas and Rangel Ravelo can breathe easier for a while longer. Not too much longer though, with Matt Carpenter on his way. The latter seems more likely since Thomas is the only true center fielder active behind Dexter Fowler.


For more

To track the 25- and 40-man rosters as well as all players in the system by position and level, check out the Roster Matrix, always free and updated here at The Cardinal Nation. Also included is every player transaction across the full organization all year long.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

State College Spikes Notebook – 2019 Week 7


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. Annual members may purchase the new 2019 Prospect Guide PDF for less than half price. In addition, our limited edition printed and bound Guides are $5 off, so get yours today!

© 2019 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

YaSenka Takes The Cardinal Nation July Pitcher of the Month Honors

photo: Michael YaSenka (Robert Kell)

It is again the time to select The Cardinal Nation’s Pitcher of the Month. This covers play during July across the St. Louis Cardinals’ nine minor league affiliates.

As a reminder, this is NOT is the “Pitcher 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.

Among our group of 10 finalists, Johnson City right-hander Michael YaSenka logged the second-lowest ERA and highest strikeout rate while pitching in his first full month as a professional. The 21-year old is our Pitcher of the Month. He also received the Cardinals organization’s honor for July.

Read on for the details on how I came to our decision, while recognizing a number of other mound standouts during the month, as well.


Guidelines

To qualify, a pitcher must have thrown at least 20 innings during July. To make the list of 10 finalists, an ERA of 3.00 or better was required.

In the following tables, names are listed in the same descending ERA order.


Counting stats

Pitcher Tm IP R H ER HR BB SO ERA
Gustavo J. Rodriguez DSLB 21 1 13 1 0 2 21 0.43
Michael YaSenka JC 28 7 20 2 1 5 32 0.64
Parker Kelly PEO 21 3 12 3 0 5 19 1.29
Wilmer Ortega DSLB 20 3 10 3 1 3 12 1.35
Nathanael Heredia GCL 22 7 16 6 0 17 22 2.45
Ramon Santos PB 20.1 6 20 6 0 7 22 2.66
Angel Rondon SPR 30 12 31 9 2 9 26 2.70
Ludwin Jimenez GCL 29.2 10 23 9 2 9 27 2.73
Angel Cuenca DSLR 22 12 19 7 2 3 19 2.86
Yordy Richard DSLB 21.2 8 20 7 1 4 16 2.91

Seven of the nine affiliates are represented among the finalists, with only State College and Memphis missing out.

As is often the case, those in the “complex leagues”, the Dominican Summer and Gulf Coast Leagues, sport some players with flashy results. Admittedly, they have a tougher time winning these monthly awards, unless their numbers dominate those pitching at higher levels.

Two of the 10 finalists had ERAs under 1.00 and two more came in under 2.00.

The DSL Blue’s Gustavo J. Rodriguez delivered the lowest ERA at a very impressive 0.43. His teammate Wilmer Ortega yielded just 10 hits in 20 innings. The walk count by Nathanael Heredia from the Gulf Coast League, 17 in 22 innings, stands out for the wrong reason, however.


Rate stats

Pitcher Tm ERA AVG SLG OPS WHIP BB/9 K/9
Gustavo J. Rodriguez DSLB 0.43 0.171 0.211 0.413 0.71 0.9 9.0
Michael YaSenka JC 0.64 0.200 0.280 0.539 0.89 1.6 10.3
Parker Kelly PEO 1.29 0.164 0.219 0.437 0.81 2.1 8.1
Wilmer Ortega DSLB 1.35 0.149 0.224 0.432 0.65 1.4 5.4
Nathanael Heredia GCL 2.45 0.216 0.257 0.642 1.50 7.0 9.0
Ramon Santos PB 2.66 0.267 0.320 0.645 1.33 3.1 9.7
Angel Rondon SPR 2.70 0.263 0.347 0.668 1.33 2.7 7.8
Ludwin Jimenez GCL 2.73 0.209 0.318 0.599 1.08 2.7 8.2
Angel Cuenca DSLR 2.86 0.241 0.367 0.638 1.00 1.2 7.8
Yordy Richard DSLB 2.91 0.241 0.337 0.629 1.11 1.7 6.6

Here is where it gets interesting. A number of candidates can make a claim.

Parker Kelly (Peoria Chiefs)

In his first month starting after a move from the Peoria bullpen, Parker Kelly had the second-lowest batting average against from among our finalists at just .164 (Ortega is first at .149.) Kelly’s slugging against is just .008 behind Rodriguez’ best.

The top four pitchers in the table really separated themselves in almost every category. They are the only finalists with ERAs under 2.00 and WHIPs under 1.00. They are the only ones with batting averages against at .200 or less and OPS’s significantly under .600.

YaSenka has the highest strikeout rate, with Rodriguez walking the fewest per nine.


The Pitcher of the Month

When all is said and done, Michael YaSenka is the winner of The Cardinal Nation’s July Pitcher of the Month honors. The right-hander was very consistent, pitching three scoreless games and allowing just one earned run in his two other outings.

Michael YaSenka (Robert Kell)

Rodriguez is averaging about five innings per start while YaSenka is going closer to six, including a seven-inning complete game that included 10 strikeouts on July 24, which helped tip the balance in his favor. He also received the Appalachian League Pitcher of the Week award for the period of July 8-14, so it was a strong month from beginning to end.

After his selection by the Cardinals in the 17th round of the 2019 First-Year Player Draft, 515th overall, the former Eastern Illinois standout showed he was able to shoulder a starting load, unlike many of his recently-drafted peers. That opened the door for his early success.

At 0.56 for the season, YaSenka leads the race for Appalachian League ERA title by over two runs per nine innings, with the next-closest qualifying competitor at 2.63. His 0.84 WHIP is also lowest and is just one of two under 1.00 in the rookie-level circuit.

Johnson City pitching coach Rick Harig is very complimentary of YaSenka’s four primary offerings.

“YaSenka has a solid command of his pitches, starting with his 80-81 mph curve and 92-23 mph fastball that has a nice exit velocity,” Harig said. “What I was most impressed by is his slider. The movement on that pitch along with his others give him a good chance moving forward.

“He has a good understanding of what he wants to throw in every matchup. I actually wish he would have thrown his changeup more often,” the coach concluded.

On Draft Day, TCN’s Blake Newberry wrote the following about YaSenka.

YaSenka made 15 starts for the EIU Panthers this spring, recording a record of 4 wins and 7 losses. He collected 100 strikeouts in 90 2/3 innings as he flashed some swing and miss ability. He needs to refine his command of the strike zone, however, as he finished the season with a 5.56 ERA and 33 walks allowed.

The right-hander began his career at Chesapeake Junior College where he posted below average ERA numbers but struck out hitter to the tune of 14 K/9.

YaSenka also spent two summers with the Rockville Express of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League. He has a rough season in 2017, posting a 6.62 ERA. However, he fared much better in 2018, posting an ERA of 3.41. He struck out 41 hitters and walked 19 in his 31 2/3 innings of work in 2018.

Clearly, a Cardinals scout saw something that he believes the Cards can work with and is banking on the Cardinals player development system to straighten him out. Hopefully, YaSenka can refine his command and continue to show good swing and miss stuff. If he can do this, he could have the makings of a solid reliever.

So far, he is exceeding those expectations.

In fact, in addition to receiving the Cardinals organization Pitcher of the Month recognition on Friday, YaSenka was promoted to State College. This is the second consecutive month the organization’s Pitcher of the Month was moved up a level concurrently and is another well-deserved honor for YaSenka.


June’s winners in July

I like to look back at how the prior month’s winners performed in the four weeks following their system-wide honors.

Our top pitching selection for June was Springfield’s Alex FaGalde, while the Cardinals organization honored then-Peoria starter Alvaro Seijas.

FaGalde was bitten by the injury bug, making just three July starts. When able, the 25-year old continued to deliver at a high level, with a 2.04 ERA, a .188 batting average against, 15 strikeouts and just two walks in 17 2/3 Texas League innings.

Seijas, 20, was rewarded with a promotion to high-A Palm Beach and had a good first month in the Florida State League. In five starts at his new level, the right-hander posted a 3.86 ERA. In 25 2/3 innings, he fanned 26, but the 10 walks stand out.


Related article

Gonzalez Named TCN’s Cardinals Minors July Player of the Month


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

Cardinals Class A Pitching Moves Build Up


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. Annual members may purchase the new 2019 Prospect Guide PDF for less than half price. In addition, our limited edition printed and bound Guides are $5 off, so get yours today!

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnation.com or for fastest turnaround, pose your questions on The Cardinal Nation’s members-only forum. Follow Brian on Twitter.

© 2019 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Cardinals Class A Pitching Moves Build Up

There is a lot to catch up with on the St. Louis Cardinals minor league transaction log. We begin with 14 moves on Thursday, August 1 and Friday, August 2, all but three of which affect the three Class-A teams. 12 involve pitchers.

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Cardinals Trade Jedd Gyorko for Apparent Roster and Salary Relief

photo: Jedd Gyorko (USA TODAY Sports Images)

St. Louis Cardinals press release

The St. Louis Cardinals announced this afternoon (Wednesday, July 31) that they have completed a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers, acquiring left-handed pitcher Tony Cingrani and minor league right-handed pitcher Jeffry Abreu in exchange for infielder Jedd Gyorko, 2019/2020 International Cap Space and cash considerations.

Jedd Gyorko (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

Cingrani, 30, is a veteran of seven-plus seasons in the majors with Cincinnati and the Dodgers.   He is currently on the 60-day Injured List (left shoulder surgery) and has not pitched this season.   The 6-4, 215-pound Cingrani owns a 12-22 career mark with a 4.01 ERA in 164 games pitched (61 starts), winning a career-high seven games for the Reds in 2013.

Abreu, 19, is a native of the Dominican Republic.   He’s 2-0 with a 4.66 ERA in six games pitched this season for the Arizona Rookie League Dodgers.  The 6-4, 200-pound Abreu was an International free-agent signing by the Dodgers in July of 2017.

Gyorko, 30, who joined the Cardinals in 2016, has been on the Injured List (back/right wrist) since June 8.   He appeared in 38 games for the Cardinals this season, batting .196 with 2 HR’s and 7 RBI.


Brian Walton’s take

By all indications, the Cardinals did not make the necessary moves to shore up their pitching staff before Wednesday’s trade deadline.

Mozeliak’s full remarks are here:

Further, unless you subscribe to the view that Yairo Muñoz and/or Tommy Edman will be more valuable to the Cardinals than Gyorko for the remainder of this season, the trade appears to be a cost-saving and 40-man roster-saving move only.

Instead of heading out on a minor league rehab, Gyorko was moved to the 60-day disabled list on Tuesday with his 40-man roster spot used on reliever Adalberto Mejia, who was claimed off waivers. However, adding also-injured Cingrani in return is a roster wash.

While the exact dollar amounts moving from the Cardinals to the Dodgers are unknown, we do know that Gyorko makes over $10 million more in salary this season than does Cingrani. (Of course, what remains are pro-rated amounts, roughly one-third by my estimation.)

Cingrani’s 2019 salary is $2.65 million, in his final arbitration year prior to free agency. He will miss the rest of season with a torn labrum in his pitching shoulder, so seems unlikely to ever appear in a game with St. Louis.

In the final guaranteed year of his six-year contract signed with San Diego in 2014, Gyorko is being paid $13 million this season, part of which is paid by the Padres. His contract also includes a $13 million club option for next season or a $1 million buyout. The latter will almost certainly be exercised.

Likely the international cap money and the cash going with Gyorko is intended to offset some or all of the remaining salary difference between the two traded major leaguers. There may also be salary cap/luxury tax benefits to the Dodgers in the deal, though frankly, that is not of interest to me.

The Cards were allocated $6.4812 million (a hard cap) to spend internationally in the 2019-2020 period and have already signed 23 players. Apparently they still had excess pool space to trade.

The bottom line is that the Dodgers have a chance to get better in 2019 by adding Gyorko, while the Cardinals appear to have saved a bit of cash – and acquired an injured prospect who is years away from St. Louis – if he ever makes it.

Update

Fangraphs prospect analyst Eric Longenhagen reports on Abreu.

“New Cardinals prospect Jeffry Abreu (Gyorko deal) sits 89-92 with angle and cut, has an average slider. Big, 6-foot-4 19-year-old righty, likely reliever.”

Though no announcement has been made, the Gulf Coast League seems the most likely destination for Abreu. The GCL is the lowest rung of the seven US-based stops in the Cardinals minor league system. (Update: This assignment is confirmed.)

In closing, with no new addition to St. Louis’ rotation, it seems any depth help will have to come from within. As the calendar is flipped to the final month of the minor league season, neither Alex Reyes nor Austin Gomber is yet able to pitch in games, leaving Genesis Cabrera and Ryan Helsley as the only active 40-man roster hopes currently. The latter is working back from his own injury problem (shoulder) and seems slated to remain in a long relief role – “starting” games, but only throwing about 50 pitches per outing.


Additional roster move


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Cardinals Claim Reliever Adalberto Mejia from the Angels

photo: Adalberto Mejia (Richard Mackson/Imagn)

St. Louis Cardinals press release

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today (Tuesday, July 30) that they have recalled rookie outfielder Lane Thomas from Memphis (AAA), taking the 25-man roster spot of outfielder Harrison Bader who was optioned to Memphis yesterday.  The team also announced that outfielder Marcell Ozuna will begin an injury rehabilitation assignment with Memphis tonight.

In addition, the Cardinals announced that they have claimed left-handed reliever Adalberto Mejía from the Los Angeles Angels and that he will be added to the team’s 25-man roster upon reporting.   Mejía, 26, owns a 6-9 career mark with a 4.55 ERA in 44 games (25 starts) with Minnesota (2016-19) and the Angels (2019).   The 6-3, 195-pound Dominican Republic native has appeared in a combined 17 games this season with the Twins (15.1 IP) and Halos (4.1 IP), going 0-2, 7.32 ERA and three Holds while fanning 21.  He worked 3.0 scoreless innings last Thursday (July 25) vs. Baltimore and limited Oakland to just one run in 3.1 innings pitched on July 2.  Mejia, originally signed by the San Francisco Giants as an international free agent in February of 2011, is 49-33 with a 3.23 ERA in 143 career games (120 starts) in the minor leagues.

The Cardinals have transferred infielder Jedd Gyorko (right wrist/back strain) to the 60-day Injured List to make room for Mejía on the team’s 40-man Major League roster.

Thomas, 23, is being recalled for the fourth time this season.   The right-handed hitting outfielder has appeared in 11 games with the Cardinals in three prior stints, batting .308 (4-for-13) with a home run and 4 RBI.  Thomas’ prior Major League tours this season included April 17-25, May 22-27 and June 29-July 3.

In 75 games with Memphis this season, Thomas is batting .268 (71-for-265) with 10 HR’s, 44 RBI and 11 stolen bases.   He had a three-homer game this past Saturday (July 27) at Oklahoma City, and is batting .347 (26-for-75) with 6 HR & 19 RBI in 20 July games.

Ozuna, out since suffering finger fractures to his right hand on June 28, has missed 25 games while on the Injured List.   Ozuna was producing at an All-Star level at the time of his injury, batting .259 with a then team-high 20 HR and 62 RBI in 78 games.  His RBI total still leads the team.

Thomas wears uniform no. 35.


Brian Walton’s take

This release formalizes the news on Bader and Thomas, moves which were disclosed on Monday.

Cardinals Option Out Bader, to Add Thomas

The new news is the addition of Mejia, who adds an interesting option in left-handed relief. I guess if the Cardinals cannot acquire a new fifth starter, Mejia could be tried in the spot from which both Michael Wacha and Daniel Ponce de Leon have struggled. Obviously, many Cardinals fans are hoping the team is aiming higher.

Mejia, who was once traded for Eduardo Nunez, had been with the Angels only very briefly, having joined them via a waiver claim from the Twins, just 10 days ago – on July 20. This season, he has career highs in both strikeout rate (9.6 per nine innings) and walks (a very concerning 5.9 per nine).

Adalberto Mejia

The player to be sent down to Memphis to make room for Mejia will likely be disclosed when he is officially activated. One would guess that Tyler Webb may be the player sent packing.

Mejia is the second lefty added by the Cardinals in two days, following Monday’s acquisition of minor league reliever Zac Rosscup from the Dodgers for cash considerations.

Cardinals Acquire Minors Lefty Zac Rosscup


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Elehuris Montero is Back and Making up for Lost Time


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Cardinals Minor League Notebook – July 30, 2019

photo: Colin Schmid (Allison Rhoades/Peoria Chiefs)

The St. Louis Cardinals system went 2-3 in Monday’s short schedule. Peoria won behind Player of the Day Colin Schmid’s seven scoreless innings. Springfield came back multiple times with a trio of home runs, but lost in the 10th inning.

Results from games played Monday, July 29th.


Memphis off

The Triple-A Redbirds (45-62) entered Monday’s day off in a third/last-place tie with Nashville (TEX), trailing Iowa (CHC) by 12 games in the American Northern Division of the Pacific Coast League standings.

Tuesday’s game:  vs. Albuquerque, 6:35 pm CT, Harold Arauz (6-2, 6.15)


Corpus Christi 7 at Springfield 6 (10 innings)

The S-Cards yielded an early lead, but pulled even twice, the last time on a dramatic two-run eighth-inning home run by Elehuris Montero before losing in the 10th in the rain-delayed contest, 7-6.

Springfield starter Tommy Parsons continued with his long-ball troubles, yielding five home runs and six total runs in 5 2/3 innings. Will Latcham, Jacob Patterson and Ronnie Williams combined for 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief before Bryan Dobzanski held the Hooks off the board in the ninth. However, he yielded a double in the 10th to score the runner placed at second and the Springfield offense was unable to answer.

Cardinals hitters fanned 14 times, went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10. Dylan Carlson was punched out three times, but also launched his league-leading 18th home run, scoring a pair. Justin Toerner reached base four times, on a solo home run, a single and two walks. The right fielder crossed home plate three times.

St. Louis third baseman Matt Carpenter went 0-for-3 with a walk to remain hitless on his two-stop rehab stint, which is now up to 16 at-bats over five games.

Tuesday’s game:  vs. Corpus Christi (HOU), 6:30 pm CT, Evan Kruczynski (2-6, 6.05)


Palm Beach off

The Beach Birds (13-26) headed into Monday’s off day in sixth and last place in the Florida State League South Division standings, 15 games behind Charlotte (TB).

Tuesday’s game:  at St. Lucie (NYM), 6:30 pm ET, TBA


Peoria 3, Burlington 0

Colin Schmid (Peoria Chiefs)

Peoria had great pitching and enough offense to shut out the Bees at Dozer Park, 3-0. The Chiefs improved to 10-26 in the second half and have won four of their last six while taking their first two series since the break.

The Chiefs got on the board in the first, as two leadoff walks were cashed in. RBIs were earned by Brady Whalen via a sac fly and via Imeldo Diaz’ double. A free pass and a single opened the fifth before Brendan Donovan scored on a missed catch error.

Player of the Day Colin Schmid was great. The starter tossed seven scoreless innings on just four singles and two walks with seven strikeouts. Allowing three baserunners but no runs over the final two innings, Leonardo Taveras picked up his first save.

The Peoria offense prevailed despite going 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position and stranding 10. Second baseman Donovan reached base three times, with a double, triple and a walk and the number three hitter scored twice, though he also committed an error.  Catcher Alexis Wilson singled twice.

Tuesday’s game:  vs. Burlington (LAA), 6:35 pm CT, Michael Brettell (3-7, 5.18)


State College off

Coming into Monday’s off day, State College (22-21) was tied for third place with Mahoning Valley (CLE), three games in back of Batavia (MIA) and a game behind West Virginia (PIT) in the Pinckney Division of the New York-Penn League.

Tuesday’s game:  at Vermont (OAK), 7:05 pm ET, Junior Gonzalez (2-2, 6.46)


Johnson City off

Coming off three-game series sweep of Greeneville, Johnson City (21-17) was tied for first with Elizabethton (MIN) in the Appalachian League’s West Division standings.

Tuesday’s game:  at Princeton (TB), 6:30 pm ET, Michael YaSenka (1-1, 0.68)


GCL Nationals 6, Cardinals 3

Patrick Romeri (IMG Academy)

The Gulf Coast League Cardinals (12-18) found themselves in a 6-0 hole after two innings and fell at Ballpark of the Palm Beaches to the Nationals on Monday, 6-3.

The first official mound appearance in the 13-month career of 2018 fourth-round draft pick Steven Gingery was very brief. The right-hander faced just four batters, with a strikeout, pop out, single and a walk on his ledger. With reliever Thomas Hart on the mound, an RBI single put a run up for the Nats and against Gingery, saddling the starter with the eventual loss.

Former outfielder Blake Drake couldn’t get an out in the second and was pulled with three already in and the bases loaded. Tyler Statler immediately issued two free passes, plating two runs charged to Drake.

Though the Cards outhit the home club 11-8, they couldn’t string them together and anxiously fanned 12 times. Outfielder Patrick Romeri led the offense with all three RBI, including a fourth-inning home run with a runner aboard and a run-scoring single in the ninth.

Tuesday’s game:  at Mets, 12:00 pm ET, TBA


DSL Nationals 5 at Cardinals Blue 3

In a scoreless duel through four, the visiting Nationals plated five runs in the fifth and sixth. The Blue brought in three in a ninth-inning comeback attempt, but fell short.

Blue starter Reinys Portillo (L, 2-4, 3.63) allowed just two hits through 4 2/3 innings, but walked five and was charged with three runs, all earned. The second hit, a two-run homer, sent Portillo to the showers. Juan Peralta followed and yielded the final two runs in the sixth. Americo Lugo fanned three and walked a batter in an otherwise perfect two-inning outing.

The Blue outhit their opponents 9-5, but went 4-for-14 with runners in scoring position and stranded eight. Outfielder Gustavo A. Rodriguez singled, doubled and scored, as the only Cardinal who hit for extra bases. First baseman Fernando Diaz singled twice, drove in one and scored another. Leadoff man and second baseman Elvin DeJesus singled, stole his ninth base of the season and collected the other RBI.

Tuesday’s game:  vs. Mets1, 10:30 am ET, TBA


DSL Cardinals Red 3, Phillies White 2

Luis Andujar’s sacrifice fly, scoring Sander Mora (who reached via a walk) broke a 2-2 tie in the eighth and provided the Cardinals Red their one-run margin of victory over the visiting Phillies White on Monday. The win broke an eight-game losing skid for the 18-31 Red.

After falling behind 1-0 in the second, the Red captured the lead with single runs in the third and fourth, but the Phils answered in the fifth with a run against reliever Miguel Yedis to knot the score. Starter Hancel Rincon yielded just two hits in the first four innings, but also issued four free passes and threw a wild pitch. Worse, the Phils ran often against Cardinals catcher Jesus Orecchia, with five steals, three while Rincon was in, and two more with Yedis on the mound. Orecchia also nailed two other Phils trying to steal.

17-year old reliever Brayan Ramirez collected the win, his first as a professional, after pitching two scoreless innings on a hit, a walk and a strikeout.

Despite just five hits, the Red offense drew seven free passes. DH Erick Thomas reached base three times with a pair of singles and a walk. He drove in one, as did shortstop Bryan Matute (double). The Red had trouble on the bases as Mora and Thomas were caught stealing and Matute was picked off.

Tuesday’s game:  at Phillies White, 10:30 am ET, TBA


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Cardinals Option Out Bader, to Add Thomas

photo: Harrison Bader (Jim Cowsert/Imagn)

The St. Louis Cardinals optioned center fielder Harrison Bader to Triple-A Memphis on Monday and he will be replaced by Lane Thomas on Tuesday, Rick Hummel of the Post-Dispatch reports.

The move with Bader, 25, was expected no sooner than when Marcell Ozuna comes off the injured list perhaps in a week or so, but instead, the team decided to make the move even more quickly.

Harrison Bader

This season, over 260 plate appearances, Bader has slashed a disappointing .195/.309/.339/.648, albeit with his Gold Glove-caliber defense. His strikeout rate this season is 28.1 percent, comparable to 2017 and 2018, though his walk rate is up to 11.2 percent from 7.3 percent last season.

It will be interesting to see if the Cardinals give Thomas regular time in the outfield – at least until Ozuna returns. In his prior 11-game look with St. Louis, the 23-year old was primarily a pinch-hitter and defensive replacement. Though Thomas can play center well, he was used in left recently in Memphis, as Randy Arozarena was being tested there.

Lane Thomas

Through 304 plate appearances in 75 games with Memphis this season, Thomas has posted a .268/.352/.460/.812 slash line. He has been especially hot recently, going 6-for-12 with two walks in the Oklahoma City series, including four home runs and eight RBI. The right-handed hitter’s strikeout rate remains high at 26.3 percent while his walk rate has doubled this season to 10.5 percent.


For more

To track the 25- and 40-man rosters as well as all players in the system by position and level, check out the Roster Matrix, always free and updated here at The Cardinal Nation. Also included is every player transaction across the full organization all year long.


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Cardinals Acquire Minors Lefty Zac Rosscup

photo: Zac Rosscup (Jennifer Buchanan/Imagn)

The St. Louis Cardinals have acquired left-handed relief pitcher Zac Rosscup from the Los Angeles Dodgers for cash considerations. The 31-year old had been designated for assignment on July 15 and cleared waivers on July 20, so is no longer a 40-man roster player. He has been assigned to Triple-A Memphis.

(Note: This is a change from the initial article, as the Cardinals official team roster page initially placed Rosscup on the team’s 40-man roster. We picked it up, not knowing it was in error. Apologies for amplifying the mistake.)

Zac Rosscup (Jayne Kamin-Oncea)

Since 2013 when he came up with the Cubs, he has a 5.16 ERA in 83 2/3 career MLB innings.  Rosscup has lifetime a strikeout rate of 12.2 per nine innings, but walks a troubling 5.9 per nine.

This season, Rosscup has already appeared with Seattle, Toronto and the Dodgers (for a second time), logging a 5.00 ERA while walking more than one batter per inning (9.5 per nine). The Mariners waived him in May, when he was claimed by the Jays. He became a free agent in June and signed with the Dodgers shortly after.

Rosscup also pitched for the Rockies in 2017 and was in their system before the Dodgers claimed him in July 2018. They released him last winter, when he was signed by the Mariners as a free agent. In other words, Rosscup is well-traveled.

At Memphis, Rosscup essentially replaces veteran lefty reliever Tommy Layne, who had been assigned to the Triple-A Redbirds until his July 3 release. He joins two other MLB veterans, Chasen Shreve and Hunter Cervenka, as left-handers in the Memphis bullpen.


For more

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Palm Beach Cardinals Pitcher Perry DellaValle Suspended

photo: Perry DellaValle (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

MLB Press Release

Perry DellaValle (Palm Beach Cardinals)

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that two Minor League players have been suspended following their violations of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

St. Louis Cardinals Minor League pitcher Perry DellaValle, who is currently on the roster of the Single-A Palm Beach Cardinals of the Florida State League, has received a 50-game suspension following a second positive test for a drug of abuse in violation of the Program.

Free agent Minor League pitcher Ricardo Frias has received a 72-game suspension after testing positive for Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Program. The suspension of Frias will be effective immediately upon his signing with another Major League organization.


Brian Walton’s take

DellaValle, 23, has made 19 starts and one relief appearance for the Beach Birds this season, throwing a team-high 106 1/3 innings. Despite a 3.22 ERA and WHIP of 1.14, DellaValle has a losing record at 5-6, primarily due to poor run support. The Florida State League All-Star was ranked 50th on The Cardinal Nation Top 50 Prospect List this month.

DellaValle is the 41st Cardinal farmhand suspended due to program violations since 2005. He is the first caught during the calendar year 2019. Four Cardinals were suspended during 2018, with the most recent, DellaValle’s teammate, pitcher Griffin Roberts, having already served his time.

This suspension will continue approximately two weeks into the 2020 regular season.


For more

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Memphis Redbirds Notebook – 2019 Week 16


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Cardinals Activate Mayers, Cut Shreve, Send Carpenter on Rehab

photo: Mike Mayers (Memphis Redbirds)

St. Louis Cardinals press release

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today (Tuesday, July 23) that they have activated right-handed reliever Mike Mayers (right shoulder lat strain) from the 60-day Injured List and designated left-handed reliever Chasen Shreve for assignment.   The team also announced that infielder Matt Carpenter (right foot contusion) will begin an injury rehabilitation assignment tonight with the Memphis Redbirds (AAA).

Mayers, 27, appeared in eight games for the Cardinals to open the season, going 0-1 with eight strikeouts in 8.1 innings pitched.  He was placed on the Injured List on April 16 and has missed 83 games.  Mayers, who began an injury rehabilitation assignment on June 26, appeared in 10 games for Memphis, going 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in 10 games (10.0 IP).  The 6-2, 220-pound Ohio native owns a 3-3 career mark with a 6.94 ERA in 65 games (70.0 IP).

Mike Mayers

Carpenter injured his foot during the 7th inning on July 15 when he fouled off a pitch and was placed on the 10-day I.L. the following day.  He’s been on the Injured List twice this month (also July 2-10 with a lower back strain).

Matt Carpenter

Shreve, who was credited with the win in last night’s 10-inning win, has appeared in three games since having his contract purchased from Memphis on July 11.

Chasen Shreve

Mayers wears uniform no. 59.


Brian Walton’s take

As this is Shreve’s second removal from the 40-man roster, unless he is traded or claimed by another organization off outright waivers, he will receive the right to become a free agent, now or at the conclusion of the season.

Though Shreve would forfeit the remainder of his $900,000 contract for this season by declaring free agency, he may prefer to do so rather than return to Memphis, looking for a chance to re-boot his career with another organization. Shreve would probably find another (Triple-A) home very soon.

If claimed, however, that organization would have to place Shreve on its 40-man and assume the remainder of his contract for 2019. This is less likely, but certainly not impossible, as left-handers seem to have (at least) nine lives. (It is worth noting that Shreve went unclaimed in March, though, and has not distinguished himself in the interim.)

Mayers’ rehab was unusually long, almost the entire 30-day limit, perhaps because the organization had a full 40-man roster and needed to open a spot to bring him off the 60-day IL. Shreve obliged (though obviously against his will). Still, Mayers was brought back three days earlier than planned due to the recent stretch of short starts having put a heavy workload on the bullpen.

Carpenter, mired in a season-long slump, is scheduled to play Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for Memphis and be activated by St. Louis for the upcoming home stand that begins on Friday. In his absence, reserves Tommy Edman and Yairo Muñoz have played well, perhaps creating a bit of a roster dilemma for the Cardinals ahead.


Minor league news – Schrock returns

Along with Carpenter, Memphis received another infielder on Tuesday as Max Schrock was activated off the Redbirds’ seven-day injured list. In his third IL stint of the season, the 24-year old had been out since July 5. Schrock has missed a total of 28 games in 2019, his second in the Cardinals organization, all with Memphis.
This season for the Redbirds, the left-handed hitter has slashed .252/.350/.346/.696 in 159 at-bats over 51 games.

Max Schrock


For more

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Memphis’ 2019 Issues Begin with Pitching


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