photo: Nolan Gorman and Matthew Liberatore (St. Louis Cardinals)
The SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game features top Minor League prospects competing as part of MLB All-Star Sunday. After a one-year hiatus due to COVID, the annual event will be held on July 11 at Coors Field in Denver.
Among those invited to participate are The St. Louis Cardinals’ top hitting and pitching prospects per The Cardinal Nation, no. 1 infielder Nolan Gorman and no. 2 left-handed pitcher Matthew Liberatore.
The contest will pit 25 American League prospects against an equal number from the National League in a seven-inning game to be televised nationally.
Both Cardinals are members of the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds, with the former new to the roster and the latter having been with the club this season except for a period competing in the Olympic qualifying tournament.
Coincidentally, Liberatore will make his eighth start of the season for the Redbirds Wednesday evening. In his most recent start last week, he allowed four runs in the first inning, but bounced back to retire 15 of the last 16 batters he faced. Liberatore struck out a season-high nine batters in that start.
Prior to that, the 21-year-old had been outstanding in June, allowing just two earned runs on eight hits in 11 1/3 innings. In seven Memphis starts this season, Liberatore has a 4.62 ERA backed by 37 strikeouts and just 11 walks in 37 innings and an opposing batting average of just .248. One negative is six home runs allowed, including two in his most recent outing.
It is unclear if Liberatore will be allowed by the Cardinals to be a part of the U.S. team that will be one of the six nations to compete in the Tokyo Olympics beginning in late July.
Gorman was promoted to Memphis from Springfield on Monday and will be playing his first Triple-A contest Wednesday night. The 19th overall selection in the 2018 Draft excelled in his first shot at the Double-A level, slashing .288/.354/.508/.862 with 11 home runs and 27 RBI in 43 games.
Gorman’s childhood friend is none other than Liberatore. The two grew up playing youth baseball together in suburban Phoenix and are currently the nos. 28 and 27 prospects in the game, respectively, according to MLB Pipeline.
While still in High-A in 2019, Gorman also played in the Futures Game, along with then no. 1 Cardinals prospect and current outfielder Dylan Carlson.
Click here to see all 50 prospects selected to the 2021 Futures Game.
Other Wednesday news
The Cardinals have signed pitcher T.J. McFarlane to a contract that will pay him a higher rate if he reaches the majors. First to report the move of the lefty opting out of his contract with Washington and signing with St. Louis is Jesse Daugherty of the Washington Post.
My expectation is that the 32-year-old will not initially be given a 40-man roster spot and will be assigned to Memphis, but at this point, the Cardinals have not commented.
McFarland pitched in the majors from 2013-2020 with Baltimore, Arizona and in 285 appearances, his career ERA is 4.08.
Sources: Lefty reliever T.J. McFarland has signed a split contract with the Cardinals. McFarland was granted his outright release by the Nationals earlier today and is already headed to Memphis. Felt he had a better shot of being called up by the Cardinals than Washington.
— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) June 30, 2021
Peoria outfielder Tyler Reichenborn has been placed on the High-A club’s 7-day injured list.
In 119 plate appearances over 31 games for the Chiefs, the 22-year-old has slashed .220/.345/.380/.725. Reichenborn has three home runs, 12 RBI and has fanned 30 times. The Minnesota native was signed in 2019 as a non-drafted free agent.
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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