Cardinals promote Maness, send down Scrabble

Seth Maness and Marc Rzepczynski change roster spots among six Monday transactions across the St. Louis Cardinals system.

On Monday, the St. Louis Cardinals announced they have purchased the contract of right-handed pitcher Seth Maness from Triple-A Memphis. In the corresponding transaction, left-handed pitcher Marc Rzepczynski was optioned out to the Triple-A club.

Maness, 24, was the Cardinals Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2012 and will be making his Major League debut. The right-hander was 2-2 with a 4.32 ERA in four starts at Memphis this season, striking out 18 and walking just three in 25 innings pitched. Maness' BABIP has been an unlucky .377 and his FIP is 3.28 with the Redbirds in 2013. The 11th round selection by the Cardinals from East Carolina University in 2011 was among the final cuts from major league camp this spring.

The 6-foot-0, 190-pound North Carolina native has displayed impeccable control throughout his career, allowing just 18 total walks in 247 2/3 innings pitched. Maness worked six or more innings in each of his four starts at Memphis and has done so in 27 of his 38 career minor league starts. With St. Louis, his role will apparently be out of the bullpen, however.

Our 14th-ranked Cardinals prospect was a mid-season All-Star in the Florida State League in 2012 and a post-season All-Star in the Texas League. Maness was also a New York-Penn League All-Star in 2011.

Rzepczynski made nine appearances to begin the 2013 season with St. Louis, allowing seven runs in eight innings of work with no decisions. The left-hander yielded three runs in just 2/3 of an inning in the recent Pittsburgh series. "Scrabble" joined the Cardinals from Toronto in the Colby Rasmus trade in July 2011 and last pitched in the minors in 2010.

Maness is the second Redbird to be added to the 40-man roster and promoted to St. Louis in the last four days, joining infielder Jermaine Curtis on Friday. With the Monday transaction, the Cardinals have filled their 40-man roster, but have one other easy potential move with a future shift of shortstop Rafael Furcal to the 60-day disabled list.

Monday minor league moves

To cover an already-existing opening at Triple-A Memphis due to Curtis' promotion, the Redbirds activated catcher J.R. Towles. The 29-year-old, batting just .217, missed the minimum seven days. At least temporarily, Memphis is carrying three catchers – Towles, Rob Johnson and Travis Tartamella.

As expected at Class-A Peoria, the Chiefs placed first baseman/outfielder Jordan Walton on the seven-day disabled list with an ankle injury.

Walton was replaced on the Midwest League club's active roster by outfielder Steven Ramos. The 22-year-old posted a .647 OPS in the New York-Penn League last summer.

The Chiefs had been one pitcher short since Dail Villanueva went onto the disabled list last Thursday. That spot has been filled by right-hander Josh Lucas. Promoted from extended spring training, the 22-year-old posted a 4.00 ERA in eight starts for Johnson City in 2011. The 6-foot-6, 185-pounder missed all of 2012 following Tommy John surgery. Lucas will get the ball for the Chiefs on Tuesday night.

To view the entire Cardinals system by level and position on one page, check out the Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation blog.

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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