Cardinals Minor League News: Friday, 4/24

Player news from around the St. Louis Cardinals system includes the return of Peter Bourjos.

On Friday, the St. Louis Cardinals announced a series of transactions, reaching from St. Louis to Springfield.

Bourjos Back

After his three-day paternity leave, outfielder Peter Bourjos returned to the St. Louis Cardinals active list on Friday.

In his second season with St. Louis, the 28-year-old has just five plate appearances in seven games. The left-handed hitter has the odd line of no hits, one walk, two runs scored and three stolen bases.

Anna Returns to Memphis

In the corresponding move to the Bourjos activation by St. Louis, infielder Dean Anna was returned to Triple-A Memphis. In his Cardinals debut, the left-handed hitter went 0-for-1. In his prior MLB duty, Anna appeared in 12 games for the 2014 New York Yankees.

Anna joined St. Louis on April 19, when Randal Grichuk was placed on the 15-day disabled list.

Along with Thursday’s addition of Alex Mejia from Springfield, the Memphis Redbirds are now at 25 players.

Nazario Moving North Again

Left-handed relief pitcher Iden Nazario has come off the disabled list of the Palm Beach Cardinals and has been assigned to the Double-A Springfield Cardinals.

The 26-year-old has spent almost all of the last three seasons in the Florida State League, but also had a three-game introduction with Springfield last summer. In his five year career, Nazario has a 3.43 ERA to go with 242 strikeouts and 123 walks in 225 2/3 innings.

Nazario takes the Springfield roster spot of Ronnie Shaban.

Shaban Shelved

The Springfield Cardinals placed reliever Ronnie Shaban on the seven-day disabled list on Friday. The 25-year-old has had a tough start to 2015 with five runs, four earned, in 3 2/3 innings over four appearances with Palm Beach (one) and Springfield (three). The right-hander allowed seven hits and three walks against just one strikeout.

Update: I have been the Memphis club the last four days. What follows are a few miscellaneous notes.

Anna is in Omaha, but…

As mentioned above, Dean Anna was officially optioned to Memphis on Friday. While the infielder made it to Omaha for the Redbirds’ finale there, his equipment is waiting for him in Memphis. As a result, Memphis will be without his services one more evening.

Stanley’s Versatility

As manager Mike Shildt mentioned in our recent chat, catcher Cody Stanley continues to work on expanding his defensive spectrum. In the photo below, the manager is standing on the left field track behind Stanley during batting practice, giving live tutoring on outfield reads and throws.

Nothing official was offered, but I get the feeling Stanley’s official debut in left field may not be too far off into the future.

Scruggs’ Glove(s)

Speaking of left field, Xavier Scruggs is making his second start of the season out there on Friday night. Currently, the Redbirds have only three official outfielders on the roster in Rafael Ortega, Mike O’Neill and Stephen Piscotty.

Then there is infielder Ty Kelly, who has more starts in left this season, eight, than all other Redbirds combined. Stuck at the Mendoza Line, .200 (10-for-50), Kelly has sat the last two games.

With Scruggs in left, Scott Moore slides over to first base with new arrival Mejia getting his first Memphis start, at third base.

Scruggs’ Bat

As I watched three days of batting practice, the most impressive player to me was Scruggs. In his final two rounds on Friday, batting against fourth coach Vance Albitz, a right-handed thrower, the right-handed hitting Scruggs parked at least five long balls onto the grass berm and beyond in left field at Werner Park in Omaha.

Butler Is Back

Reliever Keith Butler is just 11 months removed from Tommy John surgery, but moved throughout his rehab with no setbacks. As a result, the right-hander was activated by the Redbirds this series and is understandably excited about being back.

Butler progressed from not being allowed to throw when spring camp opened to pitching three times per week in extended spring training camp, including several stints of multiple innings. In other words, the 26-year-old is ready to rumble. Though Butler was a closer until 2013, a more versatile reliever could be more valuable to Memphis now and potentially St. Louis later.

Saturday Update: Heyer Promoted

On Saturday, reliever Kurt Heyer was promoted to Triple-A Memphis from Double-A Springfield. As a starter in 2014, the 24-year-old right-hander had a three-game introduction to the Pacific Coast League, but spent almost all of last season in the Texas League.

In his first season coming out of the bullpen, Heyer allowed three earned runs on seven hits and two walks in 6 1/3 innings for Springfield. He struck out seven.

Saturday Update: Mejia Returned to Springfield

After two games with Memphis, infielder Alex Mejia was returned to Springfield on Saturday. Infielder Dean Anna had joined the Triple-A Redbirds from St. Louis on Friday, so the Cards added a pitcher in Heyer, instead.

With Memphis, the 24-year-old singled and tripled in five at-bats.

Updates Coming

As more news across the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system is made available on Friday, it will be added here, so please remember to check back.



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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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