Cardinals Bring up Trio from Triple-A, Including Prospect Ryan Helsley

photo: Ryan Helsley (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

On Tuesday, the St. Louis Cardinals put two players on the injured list and optioned out another, and promoted three replacements from Triple-A Memphis, including one first-timer, pitcher Ryan Helsley.

St. Louis Cardinals press release

Yairo Munoz (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

The St. Louis Cardinals announced a number of roster moves prior to tonight’s (Tuesday, April 16) game in Milwaukee, recalling three players from the Memphis (AAA) roster, while placing right-handed pitcher Mike Mayers (right shoulder lat strain) and outfielder Tyler O’Neill (right elbow ulnar nerve subluxation) on the 10-day Injured List.

The Cardinals announced the recall of infielder/outfielder Yairo Muñoz, right-handed pitcher Giovanny Gallegos and rookie right-handed pitcher Ryan Helsley from Memphis.  The team also optioned infielder/outfielder Drew Robinson to Memphis.

Muñoz served as the team’s 26th man during last weekend’s Mexico Series and Gallegos, who posted his first Major League win last week, worked 1/3 of an inning in relief on Sunday in Monterrey, Mexico, as he became the first Mexican-born Cardinals player to take part in a regular season game played in his homeland.

Giovanny Gallegos (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

Helsley, 24, will be making his Major League debut with his first appearance.  The 6-2, 230-pound Oklahoma native was drafted by the Cardinals in the 5th round (161st player overall) of the 2015 amateur draft out of Northeastern State (Okla.) University.

Helsley was 0-0 with a 3.86 in two starts for Memphis this season, making his most recent start last Friday (April 11) at San Antonio with 3.0 innings pitched.  He’s 27-9 with a 2.61 ERA in 67 career games pitched (64 starts) in the minors and was named the Florida State League’s Most Valuable Pitcher in 2017 after an All-Star season at Palm Beach (High-A).

Muñoz wears uniform no. 34, Gallegos no. 65 and Helsley no. 56.

Brian Walton’s take

Ryan Helsley (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

Helsley gives the Cardinals a fresh arm, as he last pitched five days ago. As noted, this will be The Cardinal Nation’s sixth-ranked prospect’s first trip to the major leagues.

The organization has been somewhat cautious with Helsley this year, as he came off a shoulder injury that ruined his second half of 2018. In two Memphis starts in 2019, he went just seven innings total, with 52 and 57 pitches thrown, respectively, on April 6th (four innings) and 11th (three innings).

Muñoz and Gallegos are allowed to return to the Majors inside of the required 10-day window to stay down since they replace players who went onto the injured list. In center field, Muñoz now appears to be second in line behind Harrison Bader, who missed the last two games with hamstring discomfort.

As members of The Cardinal Nation learned in advance Tuesday morning, Robinson was being sent down just one day after joining the roster. This u-turn signaled another roster move with the outfield was coming, and we see that is the case with O’Neill.

With these moves, the Cardinals have swung their roster balance back to pitching – 13 to 12 position players – after just one day the other way. Of course, St. Louis likely did not expect to give up 10 runs to the Brewers offense Monday night.

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