Lyons Double-A Rehab
The last time Tyler Lyons pitched in Double-A Springfield, he started 12 games in 2012 before a mid-season promotion to Memphis. The left-hander first arrived in the majors one year later.
Now, the 26-year-old Texan is temporarily back in the Texas League. In his first rehab start since being placed on St. Louis' 15-day disabled list on May 13, Lyons will don the Springfield uniform against Tulsa at Hammons Field on Monday night. He is recovering from a left shoulder strain.
In six appearances, including four starts, for St. Louis this season, Lyons has a 6.12 ERA. He struck out 23 and walked seven in 25 innings, but also served up four home run balls.
Note that rehabbing major leaguers do not count against a minor league team's 25-man active roster limit. Pitchers are allowed up to 30 days and hitters 20 days per rehab assignment, but they can be stopped and re-started at any time.
Adams Rehab Also Begins Monday
Also on St. Louis' DL, Matt Adams is starting a rehab stint of his own. The first baseman is joining the Memphis Redbirds on an injury rehabilitation assignment for a left calf strain starting on Monday night as the Redbirds face Tacoma at AutoZone Park.
When placed on the Cardinals'15-day DL on May 31 (retroactive to May 29), the 25-year-old was hitting a team-leading .325 (63-for-194) with three home runs and 17 RBI in 52 games. Adams was leading the National League with 21 multi-hit games, ranked fourth in hits, fifth in average, and tied for fifth in doubles (16).
Siegrist Behind Others
Left-handed reliever Kevin Siegrist is reportedly throwing on flat ground but is not yet ready for a rehab stint of his own. The 24-year-old has been on the DL since May 24 with a left forearm strain.
Ironically, Sam Freeman was the pitcher recalled from Memphis when both Lyons and Siegrist went on the disabled list.
If both the injured lefties return soon, it could present an interesting dilemma for the Cardinals. The current left-handers in St. Louis' pen are veteran Randy Choate, in year two of a three-year deal, and Freeman, who has been effective in filling in.
Even if the Cards decide to go with three lefties in the pen, there does not appear to be room for all four. Perhaps the prior path of least resistance, returning Freeman to Memphis, may no longer be the default.
Four weeks later, with the conclusion of extended in Jupiter, Florida, Diaz has been returned to Springfield. However, the right shoulder of the Cuban expat is not yet sound enough for him to be activated off the seven-day disabled list.
If Diaz passes a series of tests, he could be activated as soon as this Thursday, reports the Springfield News-Leader.
Here is hoping the Cardinals are being very cautious this time. Diaz apparently injured his shoulder during his numerous free agent workouts this spring. After signing him, the Cardinals initially went easy with Diaz, but after turning him loose, the problems flared up again to the extent he was taken out of action on April 26 after just 20 games with Springfield.
Over the weekend, injured Springfield outfielder James Ramsey resumed taking batting practice and could be activated soon, said the News-Leader. Interrupting a very strong start to the 2014 season - which included being named TCN's Player of the Month for April - the left-handed hitter was injured in a collision with the outfield wall in May 16.
While Ramsey was out, Memphis needed an outfielder and Mike O'Neill got the call.
Gonzalez Cannot Make the Jump
Though the St. Louis Cardinals hoped every player graduated from the 2013 Dominican Summer League Cardinals could make the jump to play in the US, a few always fall by the wayside.
This year, right-handed pitcher Fernando Gonzalez was a casualty. The 20-year-old Dominican was released at the completion of extended spring training camp last week.
Gonzalez, first signed in 2011, faced an additional challenge because he missed the entire 2013 season due to injury. In fact, his entire official career consisted of just 12 outings, 33 1/3 innings, in 2011 and 2012, during which he logged a 4.86 ERA.
Castillo Down Again
With his club fighting for a first-half playoff berth, outfielder Ronald Castillo did not play during the Peoria Chiefs' double-header losses in Davenport on Sunday. On Monday, we learned why as the Midwest League club placed the 21-year-old back on the seven-day disabled list. The transaction is retroactive to Friday, June 6.
The 2014 Midwest League All-Star was previously out from May 21-30 due to an abdominal strain. This is a re-aggravation of that same injury. With the All-Star Game just eight days away, Castillo's participation could be in jeopardy. He almost missed the 2013 New York-Penn League All-Star Game, but was activated off the DL just in time.
Velazco Helpful Recovery
When the Chiefs have a roster opening among position players, it seems catcher Gerwuins Velazco is ready for the call. So it was on Monday as the 22-year-old was activated to take Castillo's place on Peoria's active roster.
Having been only active from May 21-29 previously this season, it coincided with Castillo's first DL stint. Velazco has played in only three games for Peoria in 2014, his second year with the club.
Chiefs Battery Honored
In additional Peoria news, injuries to others have created roster openings on the Western Division All-Star team. As a result, catcher Carson Kelly and reliever Zach Loraine have been invited to participate in the game, to be held next Tuesday, June 17.
Kelly, 19, is batting just .223 but has 26 RBI in 47 games. In his 38 outings behind the plate this season, the first-year catcher has been tested by opposing baserunners, who have attempted 58 stolen bases. Kelly has met the challenge, erasing 40 percent of them (28).
Prior to the 2014 season, Kelly was the ninth-ranked prospect in the Cardinals system.
Loraine, 21, has a 2.00 ERA and six saves in 20 appearances. The right-hander registered 31 strikeouts against six walks in 27 innings while holding MWL batters to a collective .271 batting average.
For his work at Johnson City last season, Loraine was named The Cardinal Nation's Rookie Reliever of the Year for 2013.
The pair join Peoria teammates Ronald Castillo, Arturo Reyes, Juan Herrera, C.J. McElroy and Chris Perry on the Western Division squad. The total of seven edges last year's all-star contingent of six Chiefs.
Injuries to Kane County catcher Will Remillard and pitcher Jose Arias opened roster spots for Kelly and Loraine.
Please remember to check back here. If additional player news comes to light on Monday, it will be added to this article.
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