Scott Gorgen finally takes next step

Right-handed pitcher Scott Gorgen ends three long years on the Double-A Springfield Cardinals roster.

A player can force his way into a promotion by his work, but usually, he also needs an opening – an opportunity to claim a spot on a higher-level roster.

Such is the case for Scott Gorgen currently. The right-hander is finally going to don the uniform of the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds – two years after it was probably due.

The immediate need is a replacement starting pitcher as the Pacific Coast League club had to place lefty Nick Additon on the disabled list due to left shoulder discomfort.

Gorgen, now 25, seemed on track for that promotion 24 months ago. At the time, he was dominating the Texas League in his second season there. He had a 1.26 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 50 innings.

Trying to rehab an elbow injury scuttled his 2010 season and he lost 2011 when Tommy John surgery was needed. It had to be frustrating to have been drafted in 2008's fourth round, yet still be so far away from the bigs.

Gorgen's 2012 began back at Springfield, where he had first appeared in mid-season 2009. In 14 starts this year, his 4.18 ERA - a career high - indicates he isn't yet back to where he was.

Yet, the opportunity is now - or most appropriately it begins on Saturday night, when Gorgen is scheduled to make his PCL debut at New Orleans.

Additon, 24, has made 14 starts for the Redbirds this season. His 2012 record is 3-7 with a 4.88 ERA. The left-hander has fanned 67 but walked 35 in 79 1/3 innings. Addition last pitched on Sunday, when he allowed four runs, three earned, in five innings against New Orleans.

Replacing Gorgen on Springfield's active roster is Jesse Simpson. The right-handed reliever has been on and off the disabled list twice in the last six weeks. The 25-year-old most recently went on the DL on June 15 when Carlos Martinez was activated. Simpson has a solid strikeout to walk ratio of 21-to-4 in 23 innings, but has also served up four home run balls and has a 5.48 ERA.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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