On a rehab stint that began with Triple-A Memphis one week ago, St. Louis Cardinals right-handed reliever Fernando Salas made four appearances, striking out five and allowing two hits over four scoreless innings.
While that was good enough for the Cardinals to activate Salas on Wednesday, the club turned around and optioned the 28-year-old to Memphis. Before suffering shoulder inflammation and going on the shelf on May 21, Salas went 0-2 with a 3.86 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings over 15 games with St. Louis to begin the season.
Salas has not been assigned to Memphis for a regular stint since pitching in 34 games with the 2010 club. The Redbirds were one reliever short with Eric Fornataro having been placed on the disabled list on Monday, so no other move was required.
Became a Cardinal
Contract purchased from Saltillo of the Mexican League on April 5, 2007. Traded to the Los Angeles Angels on November 22, 2013.
Did not make the opening day roster, but ended up leading the Cardinals with 24 saves. Fanned 75 in 75 innings while holding opponents to a collective .186 batting average.
Added to St. Louis' 40-man roster when contract was purchased from Triple-A Memphis on May 27. Appeared in 27 games during his rookie campaign with St. Louis totalling 30 2/3 innings pitched.
At Memphis (Triple-A), appeared in 34 games with a 1-0 record and a 3.79 ERA, fanning 44 batters with just 9 walks. Was recalled to St. Louis six times throughout the year. Was a perfect 19-for-19 in save opportunities in Memphis, ranking 3rd in the Pacific Coast League. Ran off 21 consecutive scoreless appearances from 5/3-7/17 in Memphis (21 2/3 IP, 8 H, 27 K).
Limited due to a finger injury, Salas quietly put together a solid season. In 39 1/3 innings across three levels, he went 4-2 with a 3.43 ERA. 24 of his 35 games were with Triple-A Memphis.
The Texas League All-Star burst onto the scene in 2008, racking up a league high 25 saves for the Springfield Cardinals, while posting a record of 7-3 with a 3.65 ERA, in 60 games, 74 innings pitched. Fernando was one of seven pitchers in all of the minors to make 60 or more appearances (J. Motte had 63). Salas walked only 16 batters in 74.0 IP.
His numbers after the All-Star Break generated a little concern. Despite going 4-2 with 13 saves, opponents hit .280 against him in the second half and his ERA ballooned to 5.17 after a very good 2.53 ERA in the first half of the 2008 campaign.
Appeared in 16 games for the Palm Beach Cardinals, including four starts, finishing with a 2-3 record and a 5.26 ERA.
Salas went 8-2 with a 3.02 ERA for Saltillo before going 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA in 26 appearances for Mazatlan in the Mexican winter league.
The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com St. Louis Cardinals Relief Pitcher of the Year: 2011
The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com Top Prospect 2011: #14
TCN/Scout.com Cardinals Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year: 2010
TCN/Scout.com Memphis Redbirds Reliever of the Year: 2010
TCN/Scout.com Cardinals Top Prospect 2010: #28
Scout.com Cardinals Top Prospect 2009: #24
Scout.com Springfield Cards Reliever of the Year: 2008
Futures Game (World), 2008
Texas League Mid-, Post-season All-Star 2008
Cardinals Minor League Pitcher of the Month: May 2008
Scout.com Cards Minors Reliever of the Month: May