photo: Jake Woodford (Memphis Redbirds)
Prior to Friday night’s series opener in Milwaukee, the St. Louis Cardinals placed right-handed relief pitcher Junior Fernández on the 10-day Injured List due to a right shoulder strain. The transaction is retroactive to September 2, after Fernandez had to leave the team’s contest the night before.
Fernandez is the 10th Cardinal on the injured list, nine of whom are pitchers. The 24-year-old has been a regular rider on the I-55 shuttle, with his fifth and most recent recall from Memphis having occurred on August 25. Fernandez 2021 ERAs are 6.28 with Memphis and 5.66 with St. Louis.
The corresponding move is the recall of right-handed pitcher Jake Woodford from Triple-A Memphis. In four starts since he was last sent down, on August 1, Woodford posted a 4.50 ERA in 22 innings, struck out 17 and logged two quality starts. At this point, the role Woodford will play going forward is unclear.
This will be Woodford’s fourth stint with St. Louis this season after he made the team out of spring training but was first sent down on April 11. For the season, Woodford’s ERAs are 4.50 with Memphis and 5.08 with St. Louis.
Friday minor league transactions
The big day for pitchers whose name starts with “J” continued – especially for Jakes – though Ramon Santos must not have received the memo.
On Friday, the Cardinals organization also announced three other player moves, including the pitcher to replace Woodford on the Memphis roster.
- RHP Ramon Santos promoted to Memphis from Springfield
- RHP Jake Walsh activated from Springfield’s 7-day IL
- LHP Jacob Schlesener placed on Peoria’s Temporarily Inactive List
In a story of persistence, Santos, who is in his 10th year in the Cardinals system, has reached Triple-A for the first time. His career stalled after he earned mid-season All-Star honors in the Texas League in 2018, but he has made major strides in 2021.
As noted in our Pitcher of the Month article, Santos is coming off a strong August for Springfield, posting a 1.56 ERA in long relief. Santos fanned 21 in 17 1/3 innings, but also walked 13.
In 67 2/3 innings this season between Palm Beach and Memphis, Santos has crafted a 2.79 ERA, with 102 strikeouts and 40 walks. Opposing hitters are batting a collective .173 against his offerings.
The last we heard from Walsh, he was coming off having been named The Cardinal Nation’s system-wide Pitcher of the Month for May. The 26-year-old logged a smart 1.29 ERA in nine relief appearances totaling 14 innings.
Walsh last appeared in game action on May 30, but for reasons not clear, was not placed on the seven-day IL until June 19.
Being placed on the temporarily inactive list essentially means that Schlesener has an excused absence from work to attend to a personal matter.
In his second partial year with Peoria, but first at High-A, the 24-year-old has exhibited continued but worsening control issues. Schlesener has walked a whopping 58 batters in 47 1/3 innings this season, for a career-worst BB rate of 11.0 per nine innings. This has negated much of the value of his 69 strikeouts, as evidenced by his 7.61 ERA.
Schlesener was an above-slot high school signing taken in the 12th round back in 2015.
To track the status of the Cardinals’ 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.
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