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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