As Chris Greene reported in our Palm Beach Cardinals Notebook: Week 2 on Wednesday, St. Louis’ high-A affiliate had been rolling with a six-game winning streak before losing four of their last five.
The final two defeats were particularly painful as the Beach Birds’ pitching staff were gored for a total of 21 runs. Tuesday’s starter, top prospect Jack Flaherty, did not make it out of the first inning, requiring manager Oliver Marmol to eventually send a position player, Allen Staton, out to pitch the final frame.
With need for pitching reinforcement, a pair of moves were made on Wednesday morning. Reliever Cody Schumacher was re-assigned to short-season State College, reporting to extended spring training camp.
His replacement is Nick Frey. Though the right-hander had been in EST, he pitched most of last season at Class-A Peoria before being sent down to State College. Frey, 24, has a career 5.40 ERA to go with 39 strikeouts and 24 walks in 51 2/3 innings between 2014 and 2015. He was St. Louis’ 33rd-round pick in the 2014 Draft from TCU.
Schumacher followed Flaherty Tuesday and had a bad night – allowing seven hits in 3 2/3 innings, with two runners inherited from Flaherty scoring plus four more of his own. That elevated the 25-year-old’s 2016 ERA to 4.22 in 10 2/3 frames. Prior to that, Schumacher had yielded just one run in seven innings.
On Sunday, Palm Beach also received reliever Josh Wirsu from EST, in return for Michael Heesch.
In addition to the pitching changes, the Beach Birds are getting a small makeover on offense, too. Outfielder Orlando Olivera was sent down to Class-A Peoria. The Cardinals attempted to jump the 25-year-old over the Midwest League top open 2016, but the experiment did not work out.
With Palm Beach, the right-handed hitter went 7-for-34 (.206) including one double. Olivera struck out four times and drew two walks for an FSL line of .206/.243/.235/.479. The Miami native was St. Louis’ 38th-round selection in last June’s draft from Missouri Baptist.
Olivera’s spot on Palm Beach’s roster has been taken by infielder Andrew Sohn, down from Springfield, as reported here on Tuesday.
The Beach Birds also added catcher Brian O’Keefe, up from the Chiefs, on Tuesday.
With Olivera’s arrival, Peoria needed to make a roster move. They returned catcher/first baseman Ryan McCarvel to extended spring training. The Chiefs had been running with three catchers, with Chris Chinea and Jose Godoy remaining to handle the workload behind the plate.
McCarvel, 21, had been added to the Peoria roster the day before the season opener when Chinea was sidelined with an injury. McCarvel spent most of 2015 at Johnson City after starting his professional career in the GCL.
With the Chiefs, the right-handed hitter had just one hit, an RBI double, in 18 at-bats. McCarvel added a walk and scored a run.
For roster and player information
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