Injuries to top StL minors stars mean changes

With top prospects Matt Adams and Trevor Rosenthal sidelined, replacements are needed.

In-season roster change is an inevitable part of minor league baseball. At times, promotions are awarded to recognize progress demonstrated. At other times, moves are driven by the immediate need for injury replacements.

The latter case has come into play for two of the St. Louis Cardinals' brightest prospects.

On Tuesday, first baseman Matt Adams was placed on the disabled list of Triple-A Memphis with an elbow injury while star hurler Trevor Rosenthal has been moved onto the DL at Double-A Springfield, retroactive to Monday, July 2.

Rosenthal has been sidelined by a back strain not considered serious. He was reportedly injured in a gym workout. The club hopes the right-hander, ranked the 12th-best prospect in the system prior to the season, will miss just one start.

Rosenthal appeared in the Texas League All-Star Game, throwing a scoreless inning in the contest, held on June 28 in Tulsa. The 22-year-old followed that with a six-inning outing at home on Sunday against Frisco. Rosenthal fanned a season-high eight and was charged with three earned runs, which raised his season ERA to 2.97, still fourth-best in the Double-A circuit.

In five June starts, the Cardinals organization's Pitcher of the Month for May posted a 3.10 ERA, though he only managed a 2-2 record. Rosenthal fanned 26 and walked six in 29 innings last month.

On the season, he carries a 7-6 record with his innings-pitched total sitting at 88. Rosenthal threw 120 1/3 regular-season innings for Quad Cities in 2011 before starring for them in the Midwest League playoffs.

With the placement of Adams onto the disabled list of the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds, the St. Louis Cardinals have replaced him with second baseman Jose Garcia, up from Double-A Springfield.

The 24-year-old Garcia has collected 11 extra-base hits, scored 23 runs and drove in 14 with a .258 average and .311 on-base percentage in 60 Texas League games this season.

Garcia knows his way around AutoZone Park as this is his second stint with the Triple-A Redbirds. The Venezuelan native spent most of June 2011 with Memphis and played well in a fill-in role, with a .300/.400/.400 line in 18 Pacific Coast League games.

To replace Rosenthal in Springfield's rotation, the organization has called upon left-hander Kevin Siegrist. After an invitation to early minor league camp and a short, but solid spring major league camp, the left-hander was expected to move up quickly this season.

However, events did not unfold as hoped. Siegrist was sidelined by a shoulder strain suffered in March and remained on the disabled list until May 6. He went back on Palm Beach's DL for another four weeks, from May 27 until June 24.

Since his latest return to the Florida State League, Siegrist has shown he is ready for Double-A. In 11 innings over two starts, he allowed just one unearned run on three hits. Siegrist fanned 11 and walked four. His overall record in six A-Advanced starts this season is 3-0 with a 2.30 ERA.

Springfield roster churn 100 percent

In an indication of the level of player movement sustained this season, following Rosenthal's injury, the entire current Double-A rotation began play this season at the next lower level, A-Advanced Palm Beach.

They include Seth Maness, Scott McGregor, Siegrist, Richard Castillo and Carlos Martinez. McGregor and Siegrist opened on the disabled list before working up to Double-A after pitching in the Florida State League.

Siegrist is expected to make his Texas League debut on Friday night at Frisco. At this point, Palm Beach has not received a replacement hurler. A move may be made by what was to be Siegrist's next FSL start versus Bradenton on Friday.

Taking Garcia's spot with Springfield is another familiar face, infielder Vance Albitz. The 24-year-old made his Double-A debut during the June 12-23 period, when he went 0-for-7 with three walks.

Albitz has a .266 average with a .352 on-base mark in 43 games with Palm Beach this season, his first full year in the organization after being signed as a free agent last August from an independent league club.

Palm Beach gets back one key contributor as the club has activated outfielder/infielder Alan Ahmady from the seven-day disabled list. The 24-year-old played in minor league rehab games with the Gulf Coast League Cardinals on Monday and Tuesday, blasting a three-run home run and drawing two walks in six plate appearances.

Ahmady went onto Palm Beach's disabled list back on May 19 after suffering a hamstring injury. On the season, the right-handed hitter has a line of .295/.383/.411 in 129 at-bats over 38 Florida State League games. Ahmady's 15 doubles were the most in the FSL at the time of his injury.

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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