Cardinals Minors News Roundup – July 14

News of rehabs, returns, releases, injuries, signings and more from the St. Louis Cardinals system.

Siegrist on Rehab

St. Louis left-handed reliever Kevin Siegrist, out since May 24 with a forearm strain and subsequent nerve problem, began his rehab assignment with Springfield on Saturday night. Not surprisingly, the 24-year-old showed some rust in his 17-pitch outing, issuing two walks along with a strikeout and a popup.

It is not clear how any minor league outings Siegrist may require before returning to St. Louis, but St. Louis will not play again until Friday. It is also unclear which pitcher would be taken off the active roster as a result. The Cardinals could decide to continue with three lefties since Sam Freeman has excelled in the interim, returning Nick Greenwood to Memphis.

O’Neill Unclaimed

With a full 40-man roster, the Cardinals had to clear a space for the addition of new backup catcher George Kottaras. The corresponding move was the outrighting of Springfield outfielder Mike O’Neill.

The process includes O’Neill being made available to the other 29 clubs via irrevocable waivers – if one of them is willing to place the 26-year-old on their 40-man. It did not happen, so after a one-day hiatus to limbo land, O’Neill was back in Springfield’s lineup Sunday night.

Petree Right Back into Rhythm

Out since June 30, right-handed pitcher Nick Petree was activated off the disabled list of A-Advanced Palm Beach and was given the start on Sunday. The 23-year-old excelled, allowing just one run on four hits and a walk over seven innings. Petree fanned seven in the Cards’ 3-1 win at Clearwater.

Sohn Injured

The State College middle infield situation is in flux. In addition to Leobaldo Pina, who was placed on the disabled list last week, Andrew Sohn, the Cards’ sixth-rounder from this June’s draft has also been unavailable for over a week. Robelys Reyes was brought back from Peoria to help out.

From our Spikes reporter Robert Davidson: “Sohn hasn't played since July 5 due to an elbow issue. It was something that the club was not too worried about initially, but they did not see the improvement they were hoping for. ‘He flew to St. Louis and is getting checked out. Then we'll have a pretty good idea of what the deal is with him,’ Spikes manager Oliver Marmol said after Saturday's game.”

Flores’ Finale

Last week, the Cardinals decided to end their employment of GCL right-handed pitcher Fidencio Flores. The 22-year-old was The Cardinal Nation’s top starter for the GCL Cards in 2012, but repeated the level in 2013 with much poorer results (4.69 ERA).

2014 would have been a very unusual third year at the level, so the Cards apparently decided to release the Nicaraguan instead. Flores did not appear in any official game action this season.

Then is Now

Replacing Flores on the GCL roster is right-handed pitcher Jery Then. The free agent signee has an interesting back story. The 19-year-old Dominican Republic native most recently attended Western Oklahoma State, a junior college.

The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder appeared in eight games, starting three, but only threw 14 2/3 innings for the Pioneers. Then fanned 16 but issued too many walks, 13, and allowed 11 earned runs for a 6.75 ERA.

Then was first eligible for the international draft in 2011 at the age of 16, but was not signed until now. He had trained at La Academia in the Dominican and is said to have an upper-80's to low-90's fastball, plus a curve and change.

Then has yet to make his first official professional appearance.

Catching Undo Moves Begin with Ehrlich

When Audry Perez was needed for a couple of days in St. Louis, three other catchers moved up. Now that George Kottaras has been signed, another set of moves are needed. With Memphis off for the Triple-A All-Star break, Perez’ re-activation there has not yet been reflected.

However, the reversals began with the return of Adam Ehrlich to State College from Palm Beach, done in time for Monday afternoon’s New York-Penn League double-header. In his second stint with the Beach Birds this season, the 21-year-old appeared in three games, going 2-for-5 with a walk, two strikeouts and a run scored.

Check back here for more catching moves as they are disclosed during the day.

Update: Tartamella Retraces Step

The Cardinals have returned catcher Travis Tartamella to Springfield. He had been called up to Memphis as backfill when Yadier Molina was injured in St. Louis.

This time up with the Redbirds, Tartamella, 27, had two singles, two strikeouts and scored a run in seven at-bats over two games.

The last action to undo the earlier catching moves would be to return Gerwuins Velazco to Palm Beach from Springfield. That has not yet been announced, but is probably coming.

Update: Velazco Also Resets

As expected, Velazco has been returned to Palm Beach. In his first Texas League action, he went 0-for-4 including two strikeouts.

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.

© 2014 The Cardinal Nation, and All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories