Josh Wirsu / (Brian Walton / The Cardinal Nation)

Two St. Louis Cardinals high-A minor league relief pitchers change places for the second time in less than two weeks

Two St. Louis Cardinals high-A minor league relief pitchers change places for the second time in less than two weeks.

It is fortunate that the Palm Beach Cardinals, St. Louis’ A-Advanced affiliate, is located in the same Jupiter, Florida complex as the organization’s rehab facility. After all, the Florida State League club placed its seventh player on the disabled list on Friday, with the addition of Josh Wirsu.

Wirsu Battered and Bruised

Wirsu, 22, joined Palm Beach on April 17 from extended spring training camp. He was scored upon in all three FSL outings, yielding four earned runs, including one long ball, in 5 2/3 innings on a whopping 13 baserunners (seven hits and six walks) for a 6.75 ERA. Wirsu did strike out seven, but blew his only save opportunity with Palm Beach.

Wirsu was St. Louis’ 30th-round draft pick in 2014 from Georgia Southern. Last season, the right-hander made nine starts in the Gulf Coast League and three more with State College, along with a lone relief appearance with Peoria. His results last season included a 5.06 ERA to go with 34 strikeouts and 26 walks in 64 innings.

Heesch Turns the Tables

In the corresponding transaction, the Cardinals shifted left-handed reliever Michael Heesch from the roster of short-season State College back to Palm Beach.

In reality, the soon-to-be 26-year-old was never far away. Heesch, a December Rule 5 pick from the Cubs, spent the last 12 days as the oldest player in St. Louis Cardinals extended spring training camp, also located in Jupiter.

Heesch’s Cardinals debuts had been rocky, with eight runs allowed, six earned, in just 4 1/3 innings for Palm Beach over five games before his demotion. The lefty struck out five, but walked three and yielded a whopping 14 hits.

Ironically, the player who replaced Heesch on Palm Beach’s roster on April 17 was Wirsu.

For roster and player information

The team rosters here at The Cardinal Nation are as up-to-date for St. Louis and all four full-season clubs. Extended spring training players remain on one of the short-season clubs based on where they ended 2015. To access these team rosters, click on the words “PROSPECTS” > “MiLB Rosters/Player Pages” underneath The Cardinal Nation site logo.

To see the Cardinals’ entire system by level and position on one page along with every player transaction for every club all year long, check out the newly-refreshed Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation blog.

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

© 2016 The Cardinal Nation, and All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories