Cardinals Add Monday’s Starting Pitching Duo

photo: Kwang-Hyun Kim (St. Louis Cardinals)

St. Louis Cardinals announcement

Brian Walton’s take

The Cardinals add both of their Monday doubleheader starting pitchers to the active roster. Kim will start Game 1 in Milwaukee, with Ponce de Leon covering the nightcap.

Kwang-Hyun Kim

Kim, 32, had been on the injured list since September 2 with a kidney ailment. He was diagnosed with a blockage in his kidney that caused an infection, requiring an overnight hospital stay. Kim’s treatment was blood thinners, which made him vulnerable to cuts and bruises.  To date in his first season pitching in the US, Kim has made four starts with an 0.83 ERA and one save over 21 2/3 innings.

Daniel Ponce de Leon

Ponce de Leon, 28, has been on and off the active roster since losing his starting berth due to abbreviated outings. Before his move to the injured list, Johan Oviedo made four starts in Ponce’s turn. In six appearances, including five starts this season, Ponce has a 7.47 ERA and a 0-3 record in 15 2/3 innings.

Austin Dean

In just his second start of 2020, Dean, 26, had to leave Sunday’s contest in the fifth inning. The outfielder had joined St. Louis last Thursday after a long stay on the COVID-related IL and a rehab at the Springfield alternate camp.

A move not made was with relief pitcher John Gant, who remains active. The right-hander suffered a groin injury that caused him to be removed from Sunday’s game, however it is considered to be of low enough severity that an IL move is not necessary.

Roster implications

With these transactions, the Cardinals are carrying 17 pitchers and just 12 position players on Monday.

No changes were required to either the 40-man roster or the 60-man player pool.

This article will be updated later in the day with the up-to-five members of the taxi squad for this road trip. (It will likely be no more than four players so there is room for a return of today’s 29th man (or his alternate).)

Mozeliak and Shildt updates

Prior to Monday’s Game 1, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak and manager Mike Shildt met with the media and shared updates on several players.

John Mozeliak via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Austin Dean – Mo called his forearm flexor injury a “stinger.” Might have gotten by without an IL move in a normal yeas, but it is “hard to play a man short right now.”  The outfielder remains in St. Louis for therapy and then could return to Springfield for some at-bats.

Taxi squad – catcher Andrew Knizner, infielder Max Schrock, outfielder Justin Williams and relief pitcher Junior Fernandez comprise the initial taxi squad for the road trip. Daniel Ponce de Leon or another pitcher would likely become the fifth member following Monday’s twin bill.

Johan Oviedo continues to take COVID tests and they remain negative. He has been able to play catch and threw a side session the other day, everything he would normally do between starts. If he continues to test negative, his return for Wednesday’s doubleheader is possible.

John Gant had a similar groin injury earlier in the season. The team did not make it public and gave him two to three days off. Shildt hopes the reliever can return in a day or two.

Mozeliak would not comment if the current 12 position player roster mix would continue, but noted they do not want to run the position players into the ground. He repeated his common answer that the roster is managed from day to day.  Mo did say that if the starters go deep on Monday, they might manipulate the roster another way tomorrow.

Mike Shildt via Zoom (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Alternate camp news

On Sunday, the organization added two pitchers to their player pool and alternate camp from the Double-A Springfield roster. They are left-hander Austin Warner and right-hander Tommy Parsons, both of whom are normally starters.

Austin Warner

Tommy Parsons

The two increase the total of pool players to 63 minus three unknown players to have been exempted or removed from the pool.

Post game update

Full roster detail at The Cardinal Nation

To view the two 2020 rosters and to track the status of the Cardinals’ 60-man pool, 40-man roster 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.

Detailed team rosters for the entire system can be accessed via the red menu column at the top left (see “ROSTERS/PLAYERS/MOVES”).

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