Cruz Family Grows
As expected, the St. Louis Cardinals activated catcher Tony Cruz from the paternity leave list prior to Monday’s home opener against Milwaukee. Cruz is the father of a newborn baby girl.
The 28-year-old has yet to make his National League season debut.
Easley Returns Home
On Monday, the Cardinals also optioned catcher Ed Easley to Triple-A Memphis. The 29-year-old native Memphian finally realized his dream of reaching the majors, but as the second catcher is the last man off the bench, Easley did not get to appear in any of the three games he was with St. Louis.
O’Neill Back on Taxi Squad
The odd 2015 start for Mike O’Neill continued as the Memphis Redbirds placed the outfielder on the seven-day disabled list. Apparently the 26th-man on the Triple-A 25-man roster, O’Neill was temporarily placed on the roster of short-season State College on Opening Day last Thursday.
A day later, he was activated to replace Easley for the weekend, but as noted above, Easley reclaimed his roster spot on Monday. Had O’Neill opened the season on the DL, he would not have been eligible for activation the next day.
Over the weekend, the left-handed hitter singled and walked in six plate appearances over all three games in which he was active. O’Neill drove in one run and scored another.
Shaban to Try Springfield Again
Reliever Ronnie Shaban has been re-assigned to Double-A Springfield from A-Advanced Palm Beach. The 25-year-old right-hander allowed one run on three baserunners in his first Florida State League action this season.
After spending all of 2013 with Palm Beach, Shaban split his time between Springfield and Palm Beach last season, but was not consistently effective in either spot. (7.66 ERA in 24 Double-A games, 5.40 ERA in 15 A-Advanced outings.)
At this point, Springfield has not announced who Shaban is replacing on the club’s active roster.
Schumacher Steps In
Right-handed pitcher Cody Schumacher has been assigned to Palm Beach from extended spring training (State College roster), where he takes Shaban’s roster spot. The Cardinals’ 36th-round draft pick last June from Missouri State made six starts for the Spikes last summer, logging a 3.58 ERA. Schumacher did not pitch after July 23rd due to injury.
Perez’ Blistering Start
The Peoria Chiefs are temporarily going with just 24 players as Dewin Perez has been placed on the seven-day disabled list. The left-hander is dealing with a blister on his pitching hand.
Perez, 20, made his Midwest League on Sunday. The Colombian native was pulled after three innings, with the odd line of no hits, four walks and three strikeouts.
Flaherty Has a Little of Everything
After Peoria Opening Day starter Jack Flaherty left his initial MWL game early, he told local media it was due to lower back discomfort. A later report also mentioned the 19-year-old was coming off a case of the flu. The right-hander was placed on the disabled list for what was called “precautionary” reasons with the expectation set that he would miss two starts.
On Monday, St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak said that Flaherty likely has "dead arm, fatigue". This came from beat writer Dave Eminian of the Peoria Journal Star.
An update on the status of St. Louis left-hander Jaime Garcia, who last pitched in a simulated game on March 24 and opened the season on the Major League DL, was provided by Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com.
Garcia threw a bullpen on Sunday and is scheduled to repeat that on Wednesday. If he is still on track, the next step will be to face hitters in live batting practice at extended spring training camp on Friday.
There is no schedule for Garcia to return to St. Louis, but the intent remains that he will prepare as a starter.
Pham Still in Limbo
The same MLB.com article states that injured outfielder Tommy Pham, out for the last month due to a left quad strain, is to be evaluated this week. There is no timetable for his return.
Update: Sherriff Busted
The reason Shaban joined Springfield was that left-handed reliever Ryan Sherriff was injured Saturday night. The 24-year-old pitched the final 1 1/3 innings against Corpus Christi, with no runs allowed and two strikeouts, but then hit the DL on Sunday.
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