The spring training days are dwindling as the St. Louis Cardinals wind down on making the final cuts to minor league camp before heading north later in the week for the 2016 regular season. The organization released another pair of minor leaguers from its pipeline on Monday.
According to sources who confirmed both moves, the Cardinals released outfielder Derek Gibson and left-handed reliever Nick Lomascolo. The moves come after the Cards cut ties with left-handed reliever Lee Stoppelman and right-hander Kevin Alexander just last Friday.
Gibson, 25, signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2014 right after an illustrious collegiate career at Southeast Missouri State. The energetic left-handed hitter rocketed up the system following being named The Cardinal Nation Minors Rookie Player of the Year in 2014 and made his Double-A Springfield debut on July 4th last summer after a torrid .376 start with High-A Palm Beach. Eleven days later, Gibson made his home debut in front of a welcoming crowd within a three-hour driving distance from his hometown in Bonne Terre, Missouri.
Topping at Double-A, Gibson's stint in the Texas League was for a short 12-game period during which he looked overmatched in the interim (.176 average, 6-for-34 hits/at-bats). The former gridiron commit turned walk-on, All-American baseball standout at SEMO slid down to Palm Beach and finished his Cardinal tenure at Low-A Peoria with an overall line of .297/.348/.359 with zero home runs and 15 RBI in 63 games for the 2015 season.
For his Cardinal career, Gibson hit a cumulative .306/.372/.408 with three home runs and 40 RBI in 107 games and 360 at-bats. He was likely to have repeated Palm Beach had his release not been received. Off the diamond and away from the game, Gibson earned a degree in Biomedical Science and apparently had alternate plans of going to dental school last summer.
Lomascolo, 25, was drafted in the 34th round in 2013 out of Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina. Primarily a reliever in his three-year professional career, the 6-foot-1 southpaw was a steady mover, making his High-A Palm Beach debut on the regular season’s last day in 2015. For the majority of 2015, his first year in full-season ball, Lomascolo was reliable, durable swingman for the Low-A Peoria Chiefs. He had a career-low 2.34 ERA and fanned 75 in 65 1/3 innings pitched last year.
In his Cardinals career, Lomascolo compiled a 6-6 W-L record and a 2.59 ERA in 80 games. The New York native struck out 162 but issued 73 base-on-balls over 135 1/3 career innings. Had he not been given his release, Lomascolo was likely competing to provide depth as a multi-inning left-handed relief option for Palm Beach.
According to MiLB.com, the Cardinals also released corner infielder Ronnierd Garcia. The 23-year-old Venezuelan appeared in 39 games last season for short-season Class-A State College sandwiched around a severe groin injury that knocked him out for over a month.
Last summer, the right-handed hitter crafted a .305/.341/.438/.778 line to go with two home runs and 22 RBI. 2016 would have been Garcia’s seventh season in the organization after he made his debut in the 2010 Venezuelan Summer League. He did reach Peoria in 2014, but struggled in a 14-game trial and his slow movement in the system likely led to his release.
To see the entire Cardinals system by level and position, along with free agents and every transaction all year long, check out the Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation blog.
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