Monday Cardinals Minors News Update

News on over a dozen minor leaguers including exclusive information on when St. Louis' top two draft picks will make their professional debuts.

It was a busy weekend of player movement across the St. Louis Cardinals system. Let's recap the news from Friday through Monday.

Two updates from Monday evening follow.

Only 17 Games in Field Before Diaz Shelved Again

Those who believed Springfield shortstop Aledmys Diaz was out of the woods with his right shoulder injury because he returned to the field in game action are really going to be disappointed with this news. The Cuban ex-pat was removed from the Cards' first game of Monday's doubleheader due to shoulder discomfort and will travel to St. Louis on Tuesday for it to be examined, reports Kary Booher of the Springfield News-Times.

Originally injured during his free agent auditioning this spring, Diaz spent from late April until mid-June on the Double-A club's disabled list, spending much of the time in Florida rehabbing his shoulder. Of Diaz' 34 games with Springfield this season to date, he played in the field for only half, 17. Some of those were in April before his DL stint.

Katz Earns Promotion

A bit of an anomaly as a slugging second baseman, Mason Katz has led Peoria in home runs (14) and RBI (43) this season. Following Monday night's game, the 23-year-old was promoted to A-Advanced Palm Beach, reports Dave Eminian of the Peoria Journal-Star.

The left-handed hitter is batting just .212 this season, but his 14 home runs is tied for the Midwest League lead. In recent days, Palm Beach lost its first baseman, David Washington, to injury and its second baseman, Breyvic Valera, to promotion, so there should be at-bats for Katz in the Florida State League.

Taveras Move Afoot

According to a late Monday morning tweet from the Dominican Prospect League, the Cardinals are recalling outfielder Oscar Taveras from Triple-A Memphis. The move is not official and if it occurs, it would likely be effective with the Tuesday opener of the series in San Francisco.

The promotion would not be surprising as the Cardinals are currently carrying an extra pitcher and the offense has been struggling to score runs.

Update: About 30 minutes later, the Cardinals confirmed the move, with Jorge Rondon being sent down.

Rondon Offers Fresh Arm

On Sunday morning, the Cardinals recalled right-handed pitcher Jorge Rondon from Triple-A Memphis. Rondon, 26, had been in the Major Leagues twice this season with the Cardinals but did not appear in a game until Sunday, when he threw a scoreless inning against the Dodgers in his MLB debut (and based on the new news above, his only appearance with St. Louis for awhile).

At Memphis, Rondon was 3-2 with a 3.41 ERA in 27 appearances at Memphis, striking out 23 and walking 12 in 34 1/3 innings.

Fornataro Tapped

After throwing two innings at Los Angeles Saturday, during which he allowed two runs, one earned, St. Louis reliever Eric Fornataro was optioned to Memphis on Sunday. The right-hander has appeared in eight games in his first season with the Cardinals without registering a decision and posting a 4.66 ERA in 9 2/3 innings.

Wright Makes Another Left Turn

Reliever Justin Wright has once again hopped the shuttle between Memphis and Springfield. The 24-year-old was returned to Double-A on Saturday. In his most recent Triple-A stint, which began on June 17, the left-hander allowed six runs in 2 1/3 innings over four appearances.

Ortega Nearing Return

St. Louis has placed Springfield Cardinals centerfielder Rafael Ortega on a rehab assignment with the Gulf Coast League Cardinals. The 23-year-old Venezuelan has been out since June 1 with an ankle injury.

In his first season in the Cardinals organization, the left-handed hitter has a line of .249/.330/.363 in 193 at-bats over 53 games. Ortega has drawn 23 walks against 37 strikeouts and scored 35 runs for Springfield.

Washington Causes Florida Power Outage

The surging Palm Beach Cardinals lost their biggest power bat when first baseman David Washington was pleased on the seven-day disabled list on Thursday. Though the 23-year-old is striking out in exactly one of every three at-bats and has just a .224 average, the left-handed hitter also leads his club with 12 home runs and 43 RBI in 70 games.

Palm Beach may have trouble replacing the lost offense. In fact, Washington's home run total is double that of the next-closest teammate, Anthony Garcia. Though Breyvic Valera had just six fewer RBI, the second baseman has been promoted to Springfield.

Petree Emulates Lynn

While Palm Beach right-hander Nick Petree would certainly like to follow Lance Lynn's path to St. Louis, he would probably rather not emulate having to deal with blisters on his pitching hand. Unfortunately, that is exactly what has happened as the A-Advanced club put Petree on the seven-day disabled list on Sunday.

Pitching the same day as Lynn on Saturday, Petree allowed just three baserunners in a shortened five-inning scoreless outing at Fort Myers. The start lowered his Florida State League ERA to 1.72 through nine starts. Petree has struck out 44 and walked 12 in 52 1/3 frames.

Perdomo Makes a Big Step

The first pitcher to make the promotion from short-season Class-A State College to full-season Class-A Peoria this summer is right-handed starting pitcher Luis Perdomo. A promotion was deemed appropriate after two impressive New York-Penn League starts in which the 21-year-old right-hander allowed just two earned runs in 12 innings while fanning 13 against just one walk.

Making his Midwest League debut for the Chiefs on Sunday, the Dominican native did not fare nearly as well. He was bombed for six runs, five earned, in 4 2/3 innings. Perdomo fanned six, but issued four free passes.

Herrera Back

Having celebrated his 21st birthday on Saturday, Juan Herrera gave the Chiefs an important present of their own on Sunday when the shortstop was activated off the seven-day disabled list. The Midwest League all-star suffered an ankle strain on June 20 and was placed on the disabled list the next day.

Herrera has 22 stolen bases in 32 attempts and 32 RBI in 63 games. His line is .281/.322/.376 in 242 Midwest League at-bats. At the start of June, in the most recent TCN top 40 prospect list, Herrera was ranked 19th among all Cardinals farmhands.

Seferina Escapes Red Tape

The visa issue that initially kept fifth-round draft pick, second baseman Darren Seferina, out of action has been resolved. The Curacao native was transferred off the roster of the Gulf Coast League Cardinals and activated by the State College Spikes on Sunday.

The 20-year-old from Miami Dade College received $200,000 to sign, $80,000 under slot. His signing had been announced on June 10, but he was unable to play until a work visa was secured.

Dobzanski Official

Though the Cardinals' agreement with their final high-profile draftee, New Jersey high school pitcher Bryan Dobzanski, had been disclosed earlier in the week, the deal was not official until late Friday. At that time, the club announced their 29th-rounder passed his physical and has been assigned to the Gulf Coast League Cardinals.

The 18-year-old had an earned run average of 0.91 his senior season over 46 innings for Delsea Regional High School of Franklinville, N.J., averaging 13.3 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.

Dobzanski turned down a scholarship to the University of Louisville when the Cardinals offered a signing bonus of $700,000.

Including Dobzanski and second-rounder Andrew Morales, who has signed, but has not yet been activated, the Cardinals have inked deals with 28 of their 42 drafted players.

Circle Weaver and Flaherty Day on Your Calendar

Like Dobzanski assigned to the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Cardinals are St. Louis' top two picks in the 2014 draft, Florida college hurler Luke Weaver and California high school pitcher Jack Flaherty. The two are both scheduled to make their professional debuts in the same game, to be held this coming Saturday, July 5, against the GCL Nationals in Viera, reports The Cardinal Nation's GCL Cardinals reporter Paul Ivice.

Ivice will catch up with the two following their outings and share his report in the next edition of the Gulf Coast League Notebook, posted each Monday morning right here at TCN.

More News on the Way

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

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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