Memphis reliever Dean Kiekhefer has been named a Pacific Coast League All-Star and will represent the Redbirds at the 2015 Triple-A All-Star Game this Wednesday, July 15 at Werner Park in Omaha, Nebraska. Kiekhefer, selected as a reserve pitcher for the contest by the PCL office, is 2-1 with one save, a 2.09 ERA (nine earned runs in 38 2/3 innings) and 29 strikeouts against just six walks in a team-leading 32 relief outings this season.
This is Kiekhefer’s first all-star recognition, here in his sixth year in the Cardinals system.
Redbirds pitchers Sam Tuivailala and Tim Cooney were previously named to the Triple-A All-Star Game, but both will miss the contest against the International League due to their promotions to St. Louis.
Gonzalez Back Again
The Double-A Cardinals are getting back a familiar face in catcher Jose Gonzalez, up from Palm Beach. The 28-year-old opened the season with Palm Beach, but moved up to Springfield from June 8-21 before being returned to the Florida State League.
In 72 at-bats in 22 games between the two stops, Gonzalez has a batting line of .194/.293/.319/.612.
Zavala Drafting Behind
Gonzalez’ replacement at Class-A-Advanced Palm Beach, Stephen Zavala, did not travel far. Yet the 22-year-old is making a huge step up in competition from his opening professional assignment in the Gulf Coast League. The catcher, taken in the 37th round this June, batted .450/.607/.600/1.207 and drove in five in 25 plate appearances over seven games.
Of course, playing behind prospect Carson Kelly suggests Zavala’s at-bats in the Florida State League may be limited.
At the All-Star Futures Game in Cincinnati Sunday, the Cardinals’ lone representative, Peoria’s Luis Perdomo, threw 2/3 of an inning for the World Team. Throwing a mid-90s fastball and change-up, the 22-year-old allowed a triple, but ended his outing on the national stage with a strikeout. 10 of his 15 pitches went for strikes. By then, the damage was done, however, as the US team prevailed, 10-1. (link to boxscore)
In the Pan American Games opener in Canada Saturday, Team USA lost in a 10-9 tiebreaker contest to Puerto Rico despite Memphis infielder Jacob Wilson’s three hits in six at bats, two runs scored and two RBI. Wilson batted cleanup for USA in their Sunday night contest against Cuba. Team USA won 5-2 as the second baseman went 2-or-4, including a single, double and run scored.
Team USA will return to action at 3:35 p.m. ET on Monday versus Colombia.
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