Springfield Moves Lead Thursday Cards News

The St. Louis Cardinals are making a series of moves to fortify the Double-A Springfield Cardinals for their second half run in the Texas League. News included on over a dozen Cardinals players.

Lyons Rehab Done

On Thursday, the St. Louis Cardinals activated left-handed starter Tyler Lyons off the 15-day disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Memphis. The 26-year-old made one rehab outing of 2 2/3 innings for the Redbirds at home against Reno on June 14.

It is also worth noting that left-handed pitcher John Gast, working his way back from shoulder problems, was a late scratch by Memphis Wednesday night in what became a bullpen game. That could create a tailor-made rotation opening for Lyons.

Other St. Louis Pitching News

The Cardinals announced Thursday that starter Michael Wacha will skip his next turn on Sunday, to be replaced by Carlos Martinez. Rather than injury, it is intended to be for rest purposes.

Righty Joe Kelly threw a bullpen on Thursday and said to be nearing a rehab stint in the minor leagues. He has been sidelined since suffering a left hamstring strain on April 16.

Kevin Siegrist has suffered a setback in his recovery from a left forearm strain. The lefty has a recurrence of a nerve problem behind his shoulder that first arose this spring. Siegrist will try to throw again on Friday. He has been out since May 24.

Adam Wainwright, who missed a start due to tennis elbow, threw 35 to 40 pitches in the bullpen on Wednesday and will take his turn on Saturday against Philadelphia.

Mateo Move Makes Sense

On Wednesday, infielder Luis Mateo was reassigned from Memphis to Springfield. That makes a lot of sense for two reasons.

First, Double-A reserve infielder Greg Miclat went on the disabled list earlier this week. In addition, while shortstop Aledmys Diaz is active and hitting, the top prospect does not have full clearance to play in the field. Diaz made his first start at shortstop since April on Wednesday afternoon, but played just four innings.

Mateo did much better in this stop with Memphis. The 24-year-old hit .300 (18-for-60) with one home run, one triple, five doubles, and five RBI in 21 games over his most recent stint with the Redbirds that began on May 5. After a strong spring in major league camp, Mateo opened the season with Memphis, only to be bumped back down to Springfield when Mark Ellis was ready to go in St. Louis

Since-released infielder Vance Albitz played this up and down role between Memphis and Springfield last season.

The next day, Lyons became the replacement for the Redbirds' roster.

Two Pitchers Join Double-A Cards

On Thursday, Springfield added two right-handed pitchers up from A-Advanced Palm Beach, starter Mike Mayers and reliever Chris Thomas.

Mayers was the Cardinals' third-round pick in the 2013 draft from Ole Miss. The 22-year-old has pitched solidly, though not spectacularly, in his half-season in the Florida State League. His 2-7 record indicates a lack of offensive support, though his 3.72 ERA in the pitching-oriented league is better. Mayers fanned 61 and walked 13 in 72 2/3 innings with Palm Beach. He has thrown at least six innings in nine of his last 10 starts.

Coming into the season, Mayers was ranked no. 21 on The Cardinal Nation's top prospect list.

At this point, it is not clear whose spot Mayers will take in the S-Cards' rotation. Current starters are Kurt Heyer, Jonathan Cornelius, Sam Gaviglio, Kyle Hald and Marco Gonzales. The latter has been pitching extremely well as of late.

Update: Gaviglio's turn would be Friday, but Springfield has not announced a starter. They also did not activate Mayers on Thursday.

It is time for Thomas, age 26, to step up in competition. He was injured at Peoria last summer and returned to Class-A to open this season. Thomas was moved up to Palm Beach on May 14, where he impressed, fanning 14 and walking two in 9 2/3 innings. He logged a 1.86 ERA and three saves in his nine Florida State League outings.

More Moves Ahead

No corresponding moves at either level, Springfield or Palm Beach, have yet to be announced. Including Mateo and the two pitchers, Springfield is two players over. Palm Beach is down two and Peoria is one under its 25-man roster limit.

Two Exception Cases at State College

Two players from the 2014 announced by the St. Louis Cardinals as signed and assigned to short-season Class-A State College have yet to be activated. They are second baseman Darren Seferina and right-handed pitcher Tyler Bray.

Seferina, the Cardinals' fifth-round selection, is a native of Curacao. As such, he needs a work visa to accept pay to perform professionally in the United States. Until that approval is secured, he will remain on the restricted list.

Bray, a senior sign taken in the 26th round, is not believed to be injured. He is with the club and is working out, but has yet to be activated.

Johnson City Opens with 29

As noted in Thursday's Minor League Notebook, the Appalachian League season gets underway Thursday night as Johnson City invades the Bluefield Blue Jays. There have been no changes to the rookie-level Cardinals' roster since five players were sent down from State College earlier this week. The roster of 29 active players as shown here at The Cardinal Nation is accurate.

Another free agent signing

Michael Massi received a good 22nd birthday present on Thursday. The Gateway Grizzlies of the independent Frontier League announced the Cardinals have purchased the contract of the infielder and will assign him to rookie ball.

Massi signed his first professional contract with the Grizzlies just nine days ago. In his four games with the Grizzlies, the right-handed hitter batted .250 with two walks and two runs scored. He can play both shortstop and second base.

This spring, Massi batted .346 with five home runs and 35 runs batted in as a senior at Mercer University. The Georgia resident formerly played his first two seasons at Volunteer State College in Tennessee. The 6-foot, 190-pounder was named the Atlantic Sun Defensive Player of the Year and is one of 16 finalists for the Brooks Wallace National Shortstop of the Year Award.

Wilson is Another Reason for Mateo's Arrival

Springfield is down another infielder as the Double-A club placed second baseman Jacob Wilson on the seven-day disabled list. The transaction is retroactive to June 18.

The 23-year-old left his club's game against Tulsa on June 17 in the bottom of the first inning, apparently injured on a defensive play in the field.

Since joining Springfield on May 5, Wilson has a line of .305/.366/.519/.885 in 131 at-bats over 36 Texas League games. The right-handed hitter has five home runs and 21 RBI. Wilson was the League's Player of the Week for the period of May 26 through June 1.

More News on the Way

Please remember to check back here. If additional transaction news comes to light on Thursday, it will be added to this article!

For more information

To see which drafted players are signed and which are not at any time over the upcoming days and weeks, check out the Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation blog. All signed players will be assigned to team rosters there and here on the main site once all short-season minor league clubs are set.

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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