Eight Cardinals minor leaguers on the move

Thursday player transactions all the way down to the Dominican Summer League from Double-A.

On Thursday, the St. Louis Cardinals are executing a series of player transactions that reach from the bottom of their system, the rookie-level Dominican Summer League almost to the top, Double-A Springfield. More are coming later, as well.

Update: Springfield has three additional disabled list transactions, increasing the list of players in this report to 11.

Joining Springfield:
Pitcher Kevin Siegrist from Palm Beach
Outfielder Alan Ahmady from Palm Beach
Pitcher Scott Gorgen off the seven-day disabled list (effective July 31)

Joining Springfield's disabled list:
Pitcher Anthony Ferrara (effective July 31)
Outfielder Chris Swauger (effective August 1)

Joining Palm Beach:
Pitcher Seth Blair activated from the seven-day disabled list
Outfielder Roberto Reyes from Quad Cities
Pitcher Anderson Gerdel from Gulf Coast League

Joining Quad Cities:
Outfielder Jordan Walton from Batavia

Joining Batavia:
Outfielder David Popkins from Gulf Coast League

Joining Gulf Coast League:
Pitcher Luis Perdomo from Dominican Summer League

Siegrist, Ferrara, Gorgen, Blair
Siegrist is a 23-year-old left-hander who has logged a perfect 6-0 record with a 2.28 ERA in 10 Florida State League starts this season. He has fanned 41, but walked 22 in 55 1/3 innings while holding league batters to a collective .173 average.

Siegrist is returning to Springfield after being an injury callup when Trevor Rosenthal had to miss a start. Siegrist made his Texas League debut on July 6 at Midland. He allowed two home runs and five runs total in his start, which lasted just 4 2/3 innings.

The Double-A Cardinals placed Ferrara on their disabled list due to a left groin injury with Siegrist expected to assume his place in the rotation - once Jaime Garcia's rehab tour moves on.

Ferrara, 22, like Siegrist and Garcia, is a left-hander. He was injured Monday night in his third start with Springfield since being promoted from Palm Beach. In ten Texas League innings, Ferrara has allowed six runs, five earned, for a 4.50 ERA. He has struck out ten, but issued far too many walks, 11. League hitters are batting just .188 against him.

Gorgen, 25, missed just seven games with an ankle sprain. Recently moved from the rotation to the bullpen, the right-hander has a 4.08 ERA in 81 2/3 innings this season, his first back from Tommy John surgery.

Blair, 23, is expected to take Siegrist's place in Palm Beach's rotation. The right-hander, whom the Cardinals selected as a supplemental first-round pick in 2010, has been working his way back from surgery on the middle finger of his pitching hand.

In two Gulf Coast League rehab outings in late July, Blair tossed a total of three scoreless innings. He fanned one, walked two and allowed one hit.

Swauger, Ahmady, Reyes, Walton, Popkins
A most unfortunate injury to Springfield's Swauger is what apparently set off this set of chain-reaction moves with outfielders.

Swauger, who turns 26 in nine days, was removed for a pinch-hitter in the top of the tenth inning on Tuesday night and has not played since. An exam determined he had suffered a fracture of his right thumb. The Springfield News-Leader adds that it was non-displaced and could keep Swauger out just three weeks, however hand injuries are always dicey.

The left-handed hitter was productive in Springfield's lineup, with 12 home runs and 48 RBI in 76 games. Swauger's Double-A line is .287/.343/.467. He also had an 18-game stint with Triple-A Memphis earlier in the season.

Ahmady is currently playing in the outfield regularly, but can also cover the infield and even catch in a pinch. The 24-year-old has logged a .285/.380/.406 line with Palm Beach around a three-week DL stint due to a hamstring injury. Ahmady has 31 walks against 37 strikeouts to go with 30 RBI in 207 at-bats over 62 Florida State League contests.

Like Siegrist, Ahmady knows his way around Springfield. Last season, he had a 20-game Double-A trial, but was returned to Palm Beach after batting just .117 in 60 Texas League at-bats.

Reyes is a 23-year-old outfielder from the Dominican. His move to Palm Beach is at least his fifth transaction this season alone. He began the season with Quad Cities, but after batting just .221 in 29 Midwest League games, the left-handed hitter was sent down to extended spring training camp on May 27.

Opening the short-season with Batavia, Reyes' New York-Penn League results were not much different. In 40 at-bats over 11 games, his line was .225/.304/.250. On July 2, he was returned to Quad Cities, where this time, he fanned 19 times in 75 at-bats, hit a home run, drove in four and posted a line of .240/.352/.320.

Replacing Reyes on the River Bandits' roster is Walton. This move we became aware of on Wednesday evening. You can read about Walton here.

With Batavia down an outfielder with Walton's departure, the club was assigned Popkins, up from the Gulf Coast League. The 22-year-old switch-hitter from UC-Davis was signed in June as a non-drafted free agent.

Popkins performed well against the predominantly younger pitching in the GCL, posting a line of .353/.431/.490 in 51 at-bats over 21 games. He had no home runs and seven RBI.

Gerdel, Perdomo
These two transactions affect a pair of 19-year-olds on the Gulf Coast League pitching staff – one coming and one going (again).

Gerdel, a Venezuelan right-hander, already spent five days with Palm Beach in early July. He appeared in one Florida State League contest during his brief time there, pitching two shutout innings.

Gerdel has been lights out in the GCL. This season, his only run allowed in 11 GCL games, 13 1/3 innings, was unearned. Gerdel struck out 12, walked just two and yielded only eight hits.

The Cardinal Nation subscribers who listened to minor league director of international operations Moises Rodriguez' recent recap of the Dominican Summer League first half had already received an inking that Perdomo's promotion was on the horizon.

Of course, the 19-year-old earned it with his results. Already named a 2012 DSL all-star, the right-hander fanned a batter per inning, 47 in 47 1/3 frames, while walking just eight. Perdomo posted a 2.27 ERA in nine DSL starts.

Spending the final month of the season in Jupiter (and perhaps for fall instructs) will give the promising youngster a leg up going into 2013.

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

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