The Cardinals inked big-league veteran and right-hander Jerome Williams to a minor league contact and assigned him to Triple-A Memphis.
Williams steps into a Redbirds’ pitching staff affected by the injuries of Marco Gonzales, Tim Cooney, and most recently Jeremy Hefner, who is expected to be out until at least August with right shoulder inflammation. The newly-added Williams could earn up to a reported $2 million dollars if he makes the major-league roster.
Joining his eighth professional organization, Williams’ free agent market was delayed because of achilles surgery over the off-season. As he builds himself back up to game speed, the 34-year old presents a swingman option if the need arises at the big-league level. The addition of Williams could also be considered a potential replacement for top prospect Alex Reyes if the Cardinals brass promotes their precocious arm for a bullpen role.
Williams was a member of the Phillies pitching staff last season, delivering a 4-12 record and 5.80 ERA in 121 innings. He has posted a modest 4.57 ERA in 225 appearances over his ten-year major-league career.
According to BrooksBaseball.net, Williams relied primarily on a cutter, sinker, and four-seam fastball last year. He also mixed in a change and slider while rarely showing a curve in his arsenal of pitches.
Sulbaran bumped down
As a result of the Williams signing coupled with Chris Jacobs’ release Thursday, J.C. Sulbaran was demoted to Double-A, as Springfield reached its active limit on 25-man roster in the corresponding move.
Sulbaran, 26, threw six three-hit innings on Tuesday night for Triple-A Memphis. However, that wasn’t enough to compensate for allowing 19 earned runs over his last two starts prior to that outing, spanning just 5 2/3 innings combined. The hard-throwing righty with iffy control has an inflated 7.69 ERA on the season.
Update on Peralta and Pena rehab
If all goes well for Peralta, he will be activated on Tuesday and join the Cardinals to open a series in Cincinnati. In the meantime, Peralta will move ahead his rehab at High-A Palm Beach with a three-game stint as the plan to regain timing as he is working his way back from thumb ligament surgery. On Friday night with the Beach Birds, the 34-year old played third base and was 1-for-3 with a walk. He left for a pinch-runner after singling in the ninth inning.
Pena will begin a rehab assignment on Tuesday with Double-A Springfield. The backstop has missed the first quarter of the season due to knee surgery in early April.
Gomber, Wick crack FSL All-Star team
Austin Gomber and first-year pitcher Rowan Wick are the Palm Beach Cardinals representatives on the South Division squad in this year’s Florida State League All-Star game, to be played on June 18th in Fort Myers at 7:05 PM ET.
Gomber, 22, is Mr. Consistency in the Beach Birds rotation this year, compiling a 3.12 ERA in 10 starts (60 2/3 innings). The 6-foot-5 lefty has fanned 49 batters against 16 walks.
Wick, 23, has flourished in his first full season as a reliever. Pitching deeper and deeper into games as he gains experience, the Canadian has a terrific 1.25 ERA in 22 2/3 innings pitched. He has punched out 38 batters and notched four saves in six attempts.
Follow Derek Shore on Twitter @D_Shore23.
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