Cardinals Add Eight Players via September 1 Roster Expansion

photo: Mike Mayers (Memphis Redbirds)

Monday, September 2 update

Prior to Monday’s series opener with the Giants, infielder Edmundo Sosa was recalled from Triple-A Memphis to become the 34th active player on St. Louis’ roster. Sosa, who made his Major League debut last season vs. San Francisco (Sept. 23 at Busch Stadium), previously appeared in three games for St. Louis this July.

Outfielder Randy Arozarena is expected to follow on Tuesday.

Edmundo Sosa

St. Louis Cardinals press release

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today (Sunday, September 1) that they have added eight players to their active roster, as Major League Baseball rules allow for the September 1 expansion of active rosters to 40.

The Cardinals today activated outfielder José Martínez (right AC joint sprain) from the 10-day Injured List, recalled catcher Andrew Knizner, first baseman/outfielder Rangel Ravelo, left-handed pitcher Génesis Cabrera, right-handed pitcher Junior Fernandez and right-handed pitcher Daniel Ponce de Leon from Memphis (AAA), and purchased the contracts of right-handed pitcher Mike Mayers and catcher Joe Hudson from Memphis.

Martínez, who missed 15 games since going on the Injured List on August 13, appeared in five games with Springfield (AA) while on an injury rehabilitation assignment last week, batting .500 (8-for-16) with 4 RBI. In 110 games for the Cardinals this season, Martinez is batting .266 with 10 HR’s and 40 RBI.

Jose Martinez

Knizner, a rookie, batted .276 with 12 HR & 34 RBI in 66 games for Memphis and in 13 games for St. Louis, is batting .190 (8-for-42) with one homer and four RBI.

Andrew Knizner

The right-handed hitting Ravelo finished his season at Memphis by batting .299 with 12 HR & 56 RBI in 95 games. He made his ML debut with the Cardinals earlier this season, appearing in 14 games (.158 BA, 0 HR, 1 RBI).

Rangel Ravelo

Cabrera, the 26th man for yesterday’s double-header, was 5-6 with a 5.91 ERA in 20 games (18 starts) for Memphis. The rookie lefty became the 2,000th player in Cardinals franchise history when he made his ML debut in June, and he’s appeared in five games (two starts) with the Cardinals this season, going 0-2 with a 6.17 ERA.

Genesis Cabrera

Fernandez, also a rookie, has pitched at four levels this season, including the majors, where he made five relief appearances (0-0, 3.60 ERA) for the Cardinals in August. The 22-year-old Fernandez combined to go 3-2 with 11 saves and a 1.52 ERA in 45 games in the minors this season, fanning 80 batters in 65.0 innings pitched.

Junior Fernandez

Ponce de Leon is slated to make the start in tonight’s second game of the double-header. He completed his year at Memphis with an 8-4 mark and 2.88 ERA in 16 starts. In 10 games (7 starts) for St. Louis this season, Ponce de Leon is 1-1 with a 3.76 ERA in 40.2 innings of work.

Daniel Ponce de Leon

Mayers, whose season was slowed by a right shoulder lat strain while on the Injured List from April 16 to July 23, has appeared in just 12 games (0-1, 7.24 ERA) with St. Louis. Mayers made a total of 20 relief appearances with Memphis this season, and during his most recent stint (August 9-29), he allowed just two runs in 10 games (10.0 IP) for a 1.80 ERA with 15 strikeouts.

Mike Mayers

Hudson, a right-handed hitting catcher, who played eight games in the majors with the Los Angeles Angels in 2018, batted .223 with 10 HR & 30 RBI in 60 games with Memphis. Hudson threw out 39 pct. (15-of-38) of attempted base stealers this season, made just one error behind the plate, and had just one passed ball.

Joe Hudson

The Cardinals also announced today that they transferred outfielder Lane Thomas (right wrist fracture) from the 10-day Injured List to the 60-day Injured list.

Martínez wears uniform no. 38, Knizner is no. 7, Ravelo 47, Cabrera 61, Fernandez 44, Ponce de Leon 62, Mayers 59 and Joe Hudson 68.

Brian Walton’s take

This is the first, but perhaps not final group of additions to St. Louis’ roster for the final month. With Memphis having two games remaining, others could still follow.

Of this group, only Mayers and Hudson are minor surprises – both 40-man roster additions.

Hudson’s selection is likely directly related to Matt Wieters’ calf injury suffered while running the bases Saturday night. Hudson will likely be cut loose again this fall so the 40-man spot can be used to protect another.

Mayers, who had been removed from the 40-man roster just a month ago, going unclaimed, pitched extremely well while with Memphis, as noted above.

Martinez and Ravelo will join the outfield-pinch hit brigade, with the latter also a defensive backfill at first base. Cabrera had already been added as Saturday’s 26-man, and remains, as expected. Ponce de Leon will start Sunday’s double-header Game 2. The rookie Fernandez rejoins the bullpen mix.

The Cardinals had one 40-man opening and created the other needed with the decision that Thomas’ rookie season is over. Those two spots were used by Mayers and Hudson.

Following Memphis’ Monday game, outfielder Randy Arozarena and infielder Edmundo Sosa will join the St. Louis roster to make 35 active players, per Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch.

The five 40-man players passed over will be  outfielders Adolis Garcia and Justin Williams, infielder Ramon Urias, left-handed pitcher Austin Gomber and injured right-handed pitcher Alex Reyes. Gomber was trying to make it back to St. Louis via minor league rehab appearances, but the club reportedly decided against it.

Others not added to the 40-man roster include right-handed pitcher Jake Woodford and outfielder Dylan Carlson.

Update – Domino moves

Several moves were also made at Memphis and Springfield on Sunday to help replace some of the promoted players above.

• C Brian O’Keefe from Springfield to Memphis
• RHP Michael Baird from Palm Beach to Springfield
• RHP Kyle Leahy from Palm Beach to Springfield

O’Keefe is clearly set to backfill Hudson, joining Jose Godoy as the Memphis catchers for the final two games of the 2019 season. In his sixth year in the system, the 26-year old will be making his Triple-A debut.

In 301 at-bats over 88 Texas League games this season, O’Keefe slashed .229/.319/.389/.708. He hit 13 home runs and drove in 40.

Brian O’Keefe

Baird and Leahy help cover for relievers Connor Jones and Roel Ramirez, promoted to Memphis on Saturday.

Baird, 24, was previously promoted from Peoria to Palm Beach on July 16. In the Florida State League, he made five starts and four relief appearances, with a 2.42 ERA. He fanned 29 and walked eight in 26 innings and held FSL batters to a collective .181 average.

Michael Baird

Leahy, 22, received his promotion to Palm Beach on August 1. In his month in the FSL, he scuffled through six starts, going 1-5 with a 6.30 ERA. Leahy walked 12 vs. 19 strikeouts in 30 innings. FSL batters hit a lusty .336 against him.

Kyle Leahy

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