Cardinals System News: Wednesday, August 26

Wednesday’s news and notes across the St. Louis Cardinals system – awards, injuries and more!

The Midwest League Peoria Chiefs are temporarily down two players, three Johnson City players are Appalachian League All-Stars and two Cardinals are off the field in the Gulf Coast League.

Gronsky Grounded

The Chiefs have placed Jake Gronsky on the seven-day disabled list with a non-displaced fracture to his left hand. Coming off a four-hit game on Monday, the 23-year-old infielder played on Tuesday before being taken out in the seventh inning.

In 31 games with Peoria, Gronsky, who was moved down from Palm Beach earlier in the summer, has a line of .225/.319/.422/.741.

Llorens Sidelined

Peoria also lost right-handed reliever Dixon Llorens to the disabled list with right forearm tendinitis. The move is retroactive to August 25th.

It is the 22-year-old’s third trip to the DL this season. Llorens opened the season on Palm Beach’s DL until being activated at Peoria on June 9. He was out again from June 29th to July 11th.

In 18 2/3 innings with the Chiefs, the sidearmer has a 7.23 ERA. Llorens struck out 22 and walked nine. He has a 0-1 record with two saves in two opportunities. Llorens first reached Peoria to open 2013 before working his way up to Springfield briefly last season.

Three Cards Named Appalachian League All-Stars

The Appalachian League announced its 2015 All-Star Team on Monday and despite being in last place in their division, the Johnson City Cardinals are well-represented. The Cardinals feature three selections on the 14-player All-Star roster, which covers the full 10-team league.

Second baseman Eliezer Alvarez (chosen as a utility infielder), shortstop Edmundo Sosa and outfielder Magneuris Sierra were named to the post-season team. All three are batting over .300. Sierra was the 2014 Gulf Coast League Most Valuable Player and Sosa was a 2013 Dominican Summer League All-Star.

The Cardinals had two Appy League stars last season, Casey Grayson and Casey Turgeon, and three in 2013 – Kenny Peoples-Walls, Vaughn Bryan and Rowan Wick.

Sosa Soars

Sosa is showing uncommon power for a shortstop, with a .500 slugging percentage and seven home runs that rank him among the top 10 of all Appy League players in both stats. His line of the season is .309/.377/.500/.877 over 216 plate appearances in 47 games.

In The Cardinal Nation’s top 40 prospect list for August, Sosa is ranked 17th.

Sierra Rebounds Nicely

Sierra, the organization’s Player of the Year in 2014, was pushed to Peoria to open the season, but struggled. Dropped down to the Appy League in June, the 19-year-old bounced back.

The left-handed hitter is ranked fifth in the league with his .321 average, but 52 of his 63 hits have gone for singles. With 17 walks in 217 plate appearances, Sierra’s OBP is .377 and his OPS .785. He has been successful in 11 of 13 stolen base attempts, tying him for seventh in the league.

In The Cardinal Nation’s top 40 prospect list for August, Sierra is ranked 13th.

Alvarez One to Watch

With his .315 batting average, Alvarez ranks seventh in the league. That comes on the heels of a .353 mark last season in 21 games in the Gulf Coast League for the now-20-year-old.

For Johnson City in 2015, Alvarez has nine steals, tied for ninth in the Appy League. He has drawn just nine walks, but has twice as many extra-base hits as Sierra in fewer plate appearances. In fact, his 19 doubles tie him for third in the league. Alvarez’ line is .315/.352/.453/.805 in 196 PAs.

In The Cardinal Nation’s top 40 prospect list for August, Alvarez is ranked 29th.

Tough Time for Rodriguez Family

The Gulf Coast League Cardinals will be without Frankie Rodriguez for an undefined period of time. The catcher has gone home to Puerto Rico on a bereavement leave because of the death of his grandmother, reports The Cardinal Nation’s Paul Ivice.

Other catchers are on the GCL roster are Joshua Lopez and Riley Drongesen, recently added from State College. Stephen Zavala is out due to injury.

Woodford Apparently Done

Cardinals supplemental first rounder Jake Woodford was supposed to piggyback with Ian Oxnevad for the Gulf Coast League Cardinals on Monday. Instead, Jacob Schlesener filled that spot and got his first career win.

Woodford has apparently been shut down amid concern over his pitching workload. Though not confirmed, the right-hander may have some tenderness or discomfort in his throwing arm, reports Ivice.

If Woodford is indeed done for the season, the GCL Cards lose an important arm less than a week before the playoffs. The 18-year-old had logged a 2.39 ERA over his first 26 1/3 professional innings. Woodford struck out 21 and walked seven.

In The Cardinal Nation’s top 40 prospect list for August, Woodford is ranked 11th.

More News on the Way

As additional news across the Cardinals system comes to light on Wednesday, it will be added here.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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