Cardinals minor league pitchers on the move

A series of Wednesday pitching changes across the Cardinals system are being disclosed. Updated information included.

With the loss of Eduardo Sanchez via waivers to the Chicago Cubs, the St. Louis Cardinals will need to add another pitcher to the roster of the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds. That move was not immediately announced on Tuesday, but the beginnings of supporting moves lower in the system became evident.

Baker
The transactions begin with the Peoria Chiefs as the Class-A Midwest League club moved one hurler up as well as one down. Right-handed reliever Corey Baker is heading back to Florida due to a promotion to the A-Advanced Palm Beach Cardinals. Starting pitcher Josh Lucas may be on the same flights, but his destination is a return to extended spring training camp.

Their replacements came from extended spring training camp as relievers Thomas Lee and Chris Thomas will be making their respective full-season debuts.

Baker logged a solid 1.85 ERA and a very impressive 29:2 strikeout to walk ratio in 24 1/3 innings over 14 appearances with the Chiefs. The 23 year-old culminated his Peoria stay with 2 1/3 one-run innings and his only MWL victory in the Chiefs 11-8 win over Clinton on Monday.

Promoted from EST only four weeks ago, on April 29, Lucas struggled in Peoria's rotation. The right-hander was 0-4 with a 6.53 in four starts covering 20 2/3 innings as MWL batters teed off against him at a .394 clip.

Thomas split his time between the Gulf Coast League Cardinals and Batavia in 2012 where he was 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA. The 25-year-old non-drafted right-hander from Liberty, Mo struck out 34 and walked seven in 26 2/3 combined innings while holding opposing hitters to a .163 average.

Lee
Last season at Johnson City, Lee went 4-4 with a 4.03 ERA in 16 games. The 23-year-old right-hander fanned 57 and walked just nine in 51 1/3 Appalachian League innings, which placed him in the top 10 in the system in both strikeout rate and strikeout-to-walk ratio. Like Thomas, Lee was signed as a non-drafted free agent last June.

At this point, the corresponding move at Palm Beach as well as potential in and out transactions affecting Double-A Springfield have not been disclosed. When they do, we will have the details here at The Cardinal Nation.

Update: Wednesday noon Central

Starting pitcher Scott McGregor has been promoted from Springfield to Memphis and will start for the Triple-A club Wednesday evening.

Peoria also has two transactions affecting the outfield with Charlie Tilson going onto the disabled list backdated one day and Matthew Young joining the Class-A club from extended spring training.

McGregor, a 26-year-old right-hander, logged a 2.44 ERA in eight starts for Springfield in 2013. He fanned 48 and walked 11 in 48 Texas League innings while giving up five home runs.

McGregor has been in the system since being taken in the 15th round in 2008. He first reached Springfield in 2010 before missing the next season due to Tommy John surgery. The former University of Memphis hurler will be making his Triple-A debut.

Tilson grabbed his hamstring while running out a double on Monday afternoon. After limping into second base, he immediately left the game. The 20-year-old made the Peoria club out of spring training camp despite missing 2012 due to a shoulder injury. In 133 at-bats over 38 games, the left-handed hitter forged a line of .278/.324/.376/.700.

Young, 22, was the organization's 20th-round pick last June and posted a .246/.335/.374 line in 55 games with Batavia.

The Palm Beach to Springfield move awaits as does the identity of the player optioned out by St. Louis. Stay tuned for more news.

Update: Wednesday 3 P.M. Central

No one is being optioned out, after all. St. Louis has put reliever Fernando Salas on the 15-day disabled list with shoulder inflammation to make room on the 25-man roster for Wednesday starter Tyler Lyons. The Salas move is retroactive to Tuesday, May 21.

Salas, who turns 28 next week, last pitched on Monday, when he went 1/3 of an inning. He allowed one hit, one walk, one hit batsman and took a blown save. This season, the Mexican native was 0-2 with a 3.86 ERA in 15 relief appearances totaling 16 1/3 innings pitched.

Palm Beach is temporarily a player short, but is apparently not sending anyone to Springfield. To correspond with Baker's arrival, reliever Brandon Creath was given his unconditional release. In addition, shortstop Ronny Gil has been placed on the temporary inactive list.

Creath, 24, was the Cards' 44th round selection in the 2011 draft. Last season, he led all New York-Penn League relievers with just under 13 strikeouts per nine innings. Asked to step up to the Florida State League in 2013, the right-hander was inconsistent. In 19 innings, he fanned 19, but issued 12 walks and gave up three long balls. His ERA was 4.26.

Gil, 24, is the club's starting shortstop for the second consecutive season. Strong but erratic in the field, the Dominican Republic native batted .224 last season and is almost the same at .222 this year in 99 at-bats over 34 FSL contests.



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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