The Memphis Redbirds’ days of going with three catchers is officially over. On Monday, the club returned third backstop Jesse Jenner to Palm Beach. His replacement is not another position player, but instead a familiar face, swingman Kurt Heyer.
Down at Palm Beach, catcher Chris Rivera was returned to extended spring training to make room for Jenner - again.
Interestingly, no move to restore Springfield to 25 players has yet been announced. Could it be a pitcher coming off the disabled list like Memphis did with Alex Reyes late last week? I guess we will have to see.
Also, on the recognition front, first baseman Casey Grayson of the Palm Beach Cardinals was announced on Monday as the Florida State League Player of the Week for the period of May 16-22.
Heyer to Call Memphis Home Again
Memphis receives a reliable arm who can pitch multiple innings out of the pen in right-hander Kurt Heyer. The 25-year-old had pitched in a total of 13 prior contests for the Triple-A Redbirds over the 2014 and 2015 seasons, while spending most of those summers at Double-A Springfield.
With Springfield in 2016, Heyer made two starts and 10 relief appearances, logging a 2.82 ERA. He struck out 18 and walked just three in 22 1/3 Texas League innings.
Jenner Heads Back to the Beach
Catcher Jesse Jenner completed his second fill-in assignment of the season at a higher level, returned to high-A Palm Beach from Triple-A Memphis on Monday. The 22-year-old had joined Memphis on May 5 when Michael Ohlman was injured and stayed around after Ohlman was activated again.
Though used sparingly at Triple-A, Jenner had three singles and a walk in eight plate appearances for a line of .429/.500/.429/.929. He earlier filled in at Springfield from April 10 to 25 and has played in just two games at Palm Beach to date.
Rivera Steps Back
Catcher Chris Rivera completed his second interim assignment with Palm Beach and was returned to extended spring training (State College roster) on Monday. The 21-year-old rejoined the Beach Birds on May 5, when Jenner left after filling in from April 10 to 25 while Jenner was at Springfield.
In 15 games overall with Palm Beach, Rivera had 15 hits (all singles) in 49 at-bats and five walks for a line of .265/.345/.265/.611. He drove in three and scored four.
Palm Beach first baseman Casey Grayson is the Florida State League Player of the Week for the period of May 16-22. Over six games, the last five of which Palm Beach won, the 24-year-old went 9-for-23 (.391) including a double, a pair of home runs and seven RBI. The right-handed hitter’s slash line was .391/423/.696/1.119 for the week.
It had been a very rough season to that point for the Beach Birds’ cleanup hitter, who was TCN’s State College Player of the Year and a New York-Penn All-Star last season. Through May 15, covering his first 117 at-bats with Palm Beach, Grayson was batting just .217 with four doubles, no home runs and 10 RBI.
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