The St. Louis Cardinals made a series of transactions late Thursday that include a move of struggling Palm Beach outfielder Rowan Wick to extended spring training camp.
Wick, 22, was challenged in his initial 2015 assignment to the Florida State League after having torn up the New York-Penn League and advancing to the Midwest League in July. For Palm Beach, his line is a paltry .198/.226/.333/.559 in 126 at-bats over 33 games. The left-handed hitter has three home runs and 16 RBI.
The replacement for Wick at Palm Beach is infielder Jake Gronsky, up from the 2014 Gulf Coast League. The 23-year-old joined the Cardinals when his contract was acquired from Joliet of the Frontier League on July 21, 2014. With the GCL Cards, the left-handed batter was primarily a designated hitter, but also played at second and third base. His slash line against the primarily younger pitchers was .288/.370/.413/.782.
Unable to continue while warming up for his start for Peoria on Wednesday evening, left-handed pitcher Dewin Perez was scratched. On Thursday, the 20-year-old was placed on the seven-day disabled list with shoulder discomfort. Perez, a native of Colombia, has struggled in his four starts this season, posting a 10.61 ERA over 9 1/3 innings. He issued a whopping total of 13 walks against six strikeouts.
Peoria lost a second pitcher to injury as right-handed reliever Kevin Alexander joined Perez on the seven-day DL with an elbow contusion (bruise). The 24-year-old last pitched on Wednesday night, when he had to leave the game after being struck by a line drive in the sixth inning. Since joining the Midwest League from Palm Beach of the Florida State League, Alexander has 13 strikeouts against two walks in 13 innings over seven relief outings. His Chiefs ERA is 3.46.
Villegas Packing This Time
Right-hander Kender Villegas has been transferred from extended spring training to the Peoria roster. The 21-year-old had opened 2015 in EST, but was moved over to the Palm Beach club, where he made one relief appearance on Monday before being returned. More details on that stint here.
Filling the other opening on the Chiefs roster is reliever Nick Frey. The 23-year-old right-hander, St. Louis 33rd-rounder in 2013, opened his professional career in the 2014 GCL. There, Frey posted a 4.85 ERA in 13 innings over 10 outings. He fanned 12 and issued eight free passes.
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