Notable in his absence is the St. Louis Cardinals' 2010 supplemental first-round draft pick, Seth Blair. The right-hander made his last start on August 31 and was hammered for six runs in two innings of work. His season ERA is 5.29 and he walked 62 batters in 82 2/3 innings. Blair fanned 70.
According to an official with knowledge of the situation, Blair was placed on the suspended list for violation of team rules and is unlikely to return this season. As with all disciplinary actions, the Cardinals do not comment publicly, considering it to be a matter between the player and the organization.
Another source noted that Blair was apparently suspended for something he did not do, rather than something wrong he did. The 22-year-old was sent home.
Hernandez, called up from Batavia just in time to pick up a win in his Midwest League debut in the Bandits' final regular season game on Monday, has been assigned Blair's old number 34.
Keener was just added to the team and active roster on Tuesday. The 21-year-old has the potential to hoist a second championship trophy in 2011 as he was a part of the Appalachian League champion Johnson City team which ended its season on Sunday. Keener was the Cardinals' 32nd-round selection in this June's draft.
2011 first-rounder Wong had been slowed by a hamstring strain but was activated on August 28. He appeared in seven games to close the season and seems ready. The left-handed batter went 10-for-26 (.385), hit one home run, drove in five, scored eight times and stole three bases.
Outfielder Mike O'Neill, who has been moved on and off the roster several times in the last few weeks, was taken off again on Tuesday to accommodate the addition of Keener. In a bookkeeping move, O'Neill has been transferred to Batavia's roster.
In the three-game round one, the winner of the each half of the regular season in each division plays the wild card from the other half. Round two is a three-game division final between the two pairs of round one winners. The Midwest League finals will be a five-game series.
The other initial Western Division match up is Burlington versus Kane County. In the Eastern, Dayton takes on Lansing, while Fort Wayne and Bowling Green will face off. All four first-round series begin on Wednesday night.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Look for his weekly minor league column on Thursdays at FOXSportsMidwest.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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