Cardinals Claim Lefty Reliever off Waivers

photo: Kolton Ingram (USA TODAY Sports)

St. Louis Cardinals announcement

The Cardinals announced today (Friday, May 10) that they claimed LHP Kolton Ingram off waivers from the Texas Rangers and transferred RHP Riley O’Brien to the 60-Day Injured List.

Kolton Ingram

The 27-year-old Ingram, who has been claimed off waivers four times since the start of 2024 by the Tigers (Feb. 5), Mets (Feb. 25), Rangers (April 24), and Cardinals (today), appeared in five career Major League games for the Angels last season.

The 5-foot-9 lefty owns a 10.9 SO/9 IP in 152 career minor league appearances (one start) since 2021. Ingram will report to Memphis (AAA).

Brian Walton’s take

Ingram was originally selected by the Detroit Tigers in the 37th round of the 2019 draft from Division II Columbus State University (GA). After his release by the Tigers in 2020, the Georgia native pitched in independent ball before joining the Angels organization. Ingram reached Triple-A in 2022 and was added to the Halos’ 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 draft that November.

Ingram made his MLB debut in June 2023 for the Angels. While he struck out 11.8 batters per nine innings, his 8.44 ERA led to his designation for assignment in January 2024. From there, Ingram returned to Detroit for three weeks before joining the Mets off waivers. After posting a 7.20 ERA in four Triple-A games this season, he was DFAed again on April 20. His next stop was the Rangers, for whom he tossed two scoreless innings at Triple-A before his most recent DFA, on May 8.

Ingram reportedly throws a 92-95 mph fastball and a slider that is effective against left-handed hitters. He also features a changeup primarily deployed against right-handers.

Given St. Louis has three relievers out due to injury (O’Brien, Keynan Middleton and Giovanny Gallegos) and no 40-man roster relievers in the minor leagues until today, this move is understandable from a pure depth perspective. On the other hand, especially given his extensive travels, expecting Ingram to become a difference maker for St. Louis would be asking a lot.

At Memphis, Ingram will join Connor Thomas as left-handers coming out of manager Ben Johnson’s bullpen.

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