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Cardinal Roster Moves: May 4-10

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Here are the Cardinal transactions between May 4th and 10th, courtesy of Matt Eddy of Baseball America, Brian Walton of the Cardinal Nation and the St. Louis Cardinals.

May 4:

  • Springfield (AA) placed first baseman Jonathan Rodriguez on the 7-day DL.
  • Springfield (AA) reinstated catcher Jonathan Keener from the 7-day DL.
  • Palm Beach (Hi A) demoted right handed pitcher Will Anderson to State College (SS A).
  • Peoria (Lo A) promoted right handed pitcher Nick Petree to Palm Beach (Hi A).
  • Johnson City (R) promoted right handed pitcher Dailyn Martinez to Palm Beach (Hi A).
  • Extended Spring Training promoted left handed pitcher Rob Kaminsky to Peoria (Lo A).

2013 first rounder Kaminsky’s promotion is his first taste of full season ball; the lefty played for the GCL Cardinals after signing his pro contract. He’s pretty much on track for a high school draftee at this point; they aren’t being too slow or aggressive with his promotions.

Rodriguez was just named the Cardinals Organization Player of the Month for April, after hitting .346 with 9 doubles, 4 home runs, and 15 RBIs. He left Springfield’s April 30th game with a tight calf; he ended up needing a trip to the 7-day to recover. He’s on pace to be back next week.

May 5:

  • Memphis (AAA) demoted left handed pitcher Lee Stoppelman to Springfield (AA).
  • Springfield (AA) promoted second baseman Luis Mateo to Memphis (AAA).
  • Palm Beach (Hi A) promoted second baseman Jacob Wilson to Springfield (AA).
  • Palm Beach (Hi A) placed right handed pitcher Dixon Llorens on the 7-day DL.
  • Johnson City (R) promoted infielder Ronnierd Garcia to Palm Beach (Hi A).
  • GCL Cardinals (R) released left handed pitcher Stalyn Lopez.

Stoppelman returns to Springfield after spending part of last season with the team. The lefty reliever struggled in Memphis, allowing 10 earned runs in 13.1 innings. He’s been a quick mover within the system, so this set back shouldn’t hurt too much. He appears to be a key candidate for a LOOGY (lefty one out guy) role in the next few years.

May 6:

  • Springfield (AA) demoted left handed pitcher Danny Miranda to Palm Beach (Hi A).
  • Palm Beach (Hi A) demoted right handed pitcher Dailyn Martinez to Johnson City (R).

May 7:

  • Dominican Summer League Cardinals (R) signed right handed pitchers Miguel Caigua, Angel Estevez and Junior Gonzalez, left handed pitchers Jesus Narvaez and Enrique Perez, catchers Dylan Melendez and Irving Wilson, and shortstop Wayde Infante.
  • DSL Cardinals (R) released right handed pitchers Luis de la Cruz and Virgilio Encarnacion, and third baseman Javier Baez.
  • DSL Cardinals (R) placed right handed pitcher Estarlin Arias and catcher Sergio Ripoll on the 7-day DL.

May 9:

  • St. Louis Cardinals (MLB) purchase the contract of outfielder Joey Butler from Memphis (AAA).
  • St. Louis Cardinals (MLB) demote outfielder Randal Grichuk to Memphis (AAA).

This move was pretty much a no brainer. As explained previously, Oscar Taveras and Stephen Piscotty weren’t going to be promoted yet; as the 2 highest ranking fielders in the system, they will only make it to the majors if there is regular playing time. Butler gets the call this time, as he’s hitting .360 with 4 homers and 20 RBIs for Memphis; he’s also at the end of the development curve, so sitting on the bench won’t hold him back like it would for Taveras and Piscotty.

Grichuk had 3 hits and 7 strikeouts in 21 at bats for the Cardinals; he needs to play every day to work on his contact skills (which was the expectation when the team received him from the Angels).

Other Notes:

Lefty Jaime Garcia and righty Jason Motte both saw game action with Double A Springfield. Garcia scared the organization by taking a liner off the left elbow in his first game; he rested the arm for a week, but there was no serious damage. He made 1 start at Double A, going 2 innings and allowing 2 runs on 3 hits and a walk; he struck out 1.

Motte has had a few appearances now, and it looks like he’s close to being ready to return; in 4 appearances, he’s given up a hit and a walk while striking out 3 over 3.2 innings. The last 2 appearances were on back to back days, which is a good sign in the rehab process. The reports were showing his velocity was sitting in the mid-90s; it’s a little lower than his pre-surgery speed, but still pretty good.

Both pitchers were moved up to Triple A Memphis to continue their rehab assignments.

Motte’s strong showing in rehab could lead to righty David Aardsma leaving the organization; his minor league contract has an opt out date of 5/15 (this Thursday). If Motte proves ready and leaps over Aardsma on the depth charts, the pitcher could check with other teams for MLB opportunites.

Former Cardinals:

Vance Albitz, 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers signed Albitz to a minor league deal and assigned him to XX. Albitz had been in the Cardinal system for his whole career before being released by the team on April 12th.

Raul Valdes, LHP, Houston Astros: The Astros designated the lefty for assignment last week. The pitcher struggled in 8 appearances, allowing 5 earned runs on 5 hits and 3 walks.

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