Royals Return Rule 5 Pick Chris Ellis to Cardinals

photo: Chris Ellis (Peter Aiken/Imagn)

Pitcher Chris Ellis was returned to the St. Louis Cardinals from the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday after clearing waivers. He had been designated for assignment on April 3 after one scoreless appearance for the Royals this season.

Chris Ellis (Springfield Cardinals)

Ellis made Kansas City’s roster out of spring camp despite being charged with 10 runs on 16 hits and three walks to go with 10 strikeouts in 10 innings.

The right-hander had been selected by Texas and then traded to Kansas City for cash considerations in the major league phase of the Rule 5 Draft on December 13. 2018. Before Ellis could be returned to the Cardinals, he had to be offered to the other 28 MLB organizations and could be claimed if that team wanted him on their 40-man roster.

Since that did not happen, Ellis will now report to extended spring training (State College Spikes) and no longer is a 40-man roster player. At this point, the timing of his expected return to Triple-A is unknown.

Ellis’ background

The 26-year old originally joined the Cardinals along with John Gant and Luke Dykstra (since released) in return for Jaime Garcia from Atlanta in December 2016.

Ellis made Memphis to open 2017, but by Memorial Day, with a 7.88 ERA as a swingman, he was sent down to Springfield, where he remained in the rotation for the rest of the season. At Double-A, his ERA was 4.45.

To open 2018, Ellis was back in Double-A as a swingman, posting a 4.19 ERA that was good enough for him to be recognized as a Texas League All-Star. Again, after a couple of months, he was pressed back into action as a starter for the Redbirds. Ellis‘ Memphis ERA was 3.76 over 16 appearances, including 14 starts, to close 2018.

In his two years in the system, Ellis had not ranked among The Cardinal Nation’s top 50 prospects, a system that had a number of promising young arms.


For more

To track the Cardinals’ 25- and 40-man rosters 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.


Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation

Cardinals Increasing Reliance on Outside Pitching


Get TCN’s New 2019 Prospect Guide

Order The Cardinal Nation’s 190-page 2019 Prospect Guide now – available in PDF and printed book form, with a special 50% off deal for annual members.

Not yet a member?

Join The Cardinal Nation for the most comprehensive coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals from the majors through the entire minor league system. Annual members may purchase the new 2019 Prospect Guide PDF for less than half price. In addition, out limited edition printed and bound Guides are going fast, so get yours today!

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnation.com or for fastest turnaround, pose your questions on The Cardinal Nation’s members-only forum. Follow Brian on Twitter.

© 2019 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.