Another Monday brings us a trio of transactions at the Class-A levels within the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system. There is always a seemingly less positive move somewhere that creates a roster opening. It could be an injury or a release or in this case, ineffectiveness that leads to a demotion.
The organization has reassigned reliever Robert Stock from A-Advanced Palm Beach to extended spring training, specifically the roster of short-season Class-A State College. If the 23-year-old actually plays there starting next month, it would be his New York-Penn league debut. First coming up as a catcher in 2009, the second-rounder jumped over the level. In his 2012 conversion to pitching, the right-hander began higher, in the full-season Midwest League.
Stock spent the second half of 2013 at Palm Beach after his promotion from Peoria. While his strikeout rate was good (10.7 per nine innings), his walk rate (6.4 per nine innings) and ERA (4.37) were not.
Returning to the FSL for 2014, Stock was not improving. His free passes increased to 9.7 per nine innings, the worst in the entire system, as his strikeouts declined to 5.0 per nine. While his ERA was just 2.31, Stock was living dangerously. He had allowed a run in all three of his May outings, as he walked seven in five innings.
Replacing Stock at Palm Beach is reliever Kyle Barraclough, up from Class-A Peoria. Turning 24 in 11 days, the seventh-rounder in 2012 is trying to make up for lost time after missing most of 2013 due to a shoulder injury.
With the Midwest League Chiefs, the right-hander had the second most appearances, 12, while logging 14 2/3 innings. Barraclough was 1-0 with two saves and a 1.23 ERA. The Santa Clara, CA native struck out 18 and walked nine while allowing just six hits. Barraclough held Midwest League opponents to a collective .120 batting average.
Replacing Barraclough on the Peoria roster is a returnee from 2013, left-hander Steve Sabatino. The 24-year-old pitched seven times for the Chiefs last season after joining the roster from Johnson City on August 11. Sabatino went 0-1 with one save and a 1.54 ERA and he struck out 15 batters while walking just five.
The native of Lockport, IL was drafted by the Cardinals in the 26th round of the 2012 draft from Notre Dame. This spring, Sabatino did not make the Chiefs out of camp and has been pitching in extended spring training.
As always, to see the Cardinals' entire system by level and position, check out the Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation blog.
© 2014 stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.