Cardinals Weekend Minor League News: 4/11-12

The Cardinals make minor roster adjustments and divulge further information on injured players.

The St. Louis Cardinals continue to make minor roster adjustments and divulge further information about players not active on full-season clubs to open the season.

First of all, 15 players opened the season on the respective disabled lists of the four full-season clubs. All are now reflected as such on the team roster pages here at The Cardinal Nation as well as the Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation Blog.

As a refresher, they are:

Memphis (1): RHP Keith Butler

Springfield (5): RHP Seth Blair, RHP Jordan Swagerty, LHP Lee Stoppelman, C Adam Ehrlich, OF Starlin Rodriguez

Palm Beach (8): RHP Silfredo Garcia, RHP Cory Jones, RHP Dixon Llorens, RHP Luke Weaver, LHP Tyler Melling, LHP Iden Nazario, C Charlie Neil, IF Cesar Valera

Peoria (1): IF Richy Pedroza

Flaherty to DL

The group expanded to 16 on Saturday when the Peoria Chiefs placed Opening Night starter Jack Flaherty on the seven-day disabled list. The right-hander left Thursday’s contest prior to the fourth inning due to lower back discomfort. In their announcement, the club stressed the move is “precautionary.”

Flaherty arrived from spring training with the flu and will be skipped the next two times through the Chiefs rotation, manager Joe Kruzel told Dave Eminian of the Peoria Journal Star.

The 19-year-old had been taken by the Cardinals with the 34th overall pick in the 2014 Draft. In the Chiefs’ 13-year association with the organization, Flaherty was the second-youngest starter in the opener. Only Rick Ankiel, age 18 in 1998, was younger.

Perdomo Rejoins Chiefs

In the related transaction, right-handed pitcher Luis Perdomo was transferred from Extended Spring Training to Peoria’s active roster. The 21-year-old made 11 starts for the Chiefs last season, posting a 5.05 ERA. The Dominican Republic native also made a pair of strong starts for State College and a fill-in relief appearance for Palm Beach.

Blair, Swagerty and Stoppelman

Though Blair, Swagerty and Stoppelman are lumped together as being on the Double-A disabled list, there is a difference. Swagerty is the only one of the three pitching in Extended Spring Training.

The other two are on the Rehab List, meaning they have not been cleared to re-take the mound in game action as of yet. As I reported during spring training, Stoppelman is dealing with a sore shoulder.

Weaver, Nazario and Llorens

Weaver is the key name along with Swagerty on the active EST roster. Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch reported that Weaver remains in EST to build up arm strength. The question of why that is necessary in mid-April remains unanswered. Midway through spring training, Weaver was participating in drills and throwing bullpens, as indicated by the above photo, but he was not in the regular game rotation as far as I could tell.

Others on the A-Advanced DL in EST but not on the Rehab List, include 2014 Palm Beach relievers Nazario and Llorens. That could imply the two are closer to returning than several others.

Change for Velazco

In each of the last two seasons, catcher Gerwuins Velazco tossed a 1-2-3 inning as an emergency reliever - with Peoria in 2013 and Palm Beach last season.

Now, the 23-year-old has decided to make the move to the mound permanent.

Converting from catching to pitching has been a relatively-common change in the Cardinals system in recent years. In his first six years in the system, the 23-year-old Venezuelan also helped out a bit at first base defensively. His career batting line was .255/.343/.338/.681.

With Velazco’s transition to pitching, I have moved him off the Palm Beach roster and onto the State College one, as he is among those in Extended Spring Training.

Bulking Up State College

Speaking of roster moves, the following four have been also confirmed as active in EST, so these players have been shifted to State College from their season-closing 2014 rosters as follows:

From Palm Beach: RHP Pedro Echemendia

From Peoria: RHR Jacob Booden, RHR Tyler Bray, 1B Ronnierd Garcia

A Reboot for Foody

Left-handed pitcher Max Foody has decided to return to pitching. Signed after being selected in the 12th round in 2012 with a substantial bonus and considerable fanfare, the injury-marked career of the Florida native seemingly ended with his retirement last June.

Now, the 22-year-old is in Extended Spring Training camp, trying to work his way back into the Cardinals pitching picture.

Foody’s last official mound work was during his rookie season in 2012, before he walked away from the game following shoulder and knee problems. For the Gulf Coast League Cardinals as a rookie, Foody struggled. In 16 1/3 innings over eight games, he posted an 11.57 ERA to go with 18 strikeouts and 12 walks.

Having been placed on the Restricted List, Foody’s rights remained under Cardinals control.

As noted above, all of these changes are now reflected as such on the team roster pages here at The Cardinal Nation as well as the Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation Blog.

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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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