Peguero heads overseas
Though minor league transaction notes indicate that the St. Louis Cardinals have released Memphis outfielder Carlos Peguero, there is more to the story. In fact, St. Louis received cash from the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles so the 29-year-old can join the Nippon Professional Baseball League club for the second half.
Often times, when players with some big-league experience like Peguero assess that their chances of reaching the Major Leagues are not good in the short term. So they instead opt for the considerably bigger salaries offered in Japan.
The right-handed hitter finished his Memphis stint in the throes of a 1-for-20 slump. Peguero’s overall Redbirds line was .283/.355/.435/.790 to go with five home runs and 27 RBI in 44 games. He also has 103 games of major league experience with Seattle, Kansas City, Texas and Boston.
Nielsen moves up
With Alex Reyes off to San Diego to participate in the MLB All-Star Futures Game on Sunday, Memphis needs a Saturday starter. They now have one in right-hander Trey Nielsen, promoted from Double-A Springfield on Friday.
The 24-year-old made 15 starts for the S-Cards, logging a 3.49 ERA over 87 2/3 innings. Nielsen, The Cardinal Nation’s 24th-ranked prospect, struck out 57 and walked 30 this season.
Gomber follows along
Stepping into the Springfield rotation on Saturday night for Nielsen will be left-hander Austin Gomber, promoted from Palm Beach. The organization’s co-Pitcher of the Year in 2015 when with Peoria has been in the Florida State League this entire season to date.
The 22-year-old, TCN’s 13th-ranked prospect in the Cardinals system, made 14 starts for the Beach Birds, logging a 3.16 ERA. Gomber struck out 76 and walked 22 in 85 1/3 Florida State League innings this season.
Pritchard to try again
On Friday, Palm Beach activated Michael Pritchard from the seven-day disabled list.The outfielder’s second stint on the DL this season began on June 1 after he missed three weeks in May with an ankle injury.
Overall, Pritchard is slashing .295/.451/.385 with no home runs and four RBI for Palm Beach in 25 games (78 at-bats). The left-handed hitter shows good contact skills and plate discipline with 21 walks against seven strikeouts. If he had sufficient at-bats to qualify, Pritchard’s on-base percentage would top the Florida State League at the time of his latest injury.
Palm Beach had been down an outfielder after Craig Aikin was returned to Peoria on Thursday after just one game with the Beach Birds.
Radack ready for next step
Placed on the disabled list of high-A Palm Beach last weekend after struggling following his June 16 demotion from Double-A Springfield, outfielder Collin Radack has decided to retire.
The 24-year-old finishes the professional playing phase of his career with a three-year line of .279/.351/.346/.697. Radack hit five home runs and drove in 78 in 203 games from State College through Springfield. The right-handed hitter had joined the Cardinals in the 20th round of the 2014 draft.
The Texan’s next career move is to join the coaching staff of the Hendrix College baseball program in Arkansas, his alma mater.
Radack has been placed on the voluntarily retired list. That way, the Cardinals retain his rights should he reconsider. While I do not know this for a fact, I suspect his placement on Palm Beach’s DL last week was intended to give him time to think through his decision.
Stanley suspended third time
The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced Friday that free agent catcher Cody Stanley has received a 162-game suspension without pay after testing positive for dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, a performance-enhancing substance, in violation of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
It was the same substance Stanley had tested positive for last September after having been called up to St. Louis. After receiving an 80-game suspension, he was non-tendered on December 2, 2015. The North Carolina resident was previously suspended for 50 games in March 2012 for testing positive for Methylhexaneamine and Tamoxifen, violating the minor league drug program.
In effect, this latest sanction delays the 27-year-old’s career another 12 months as another organization would have no reason to consider signing him until he completes his suspension.
Update: FOX Sports Ken Rosenthal delves into the details of the case, including failed appeals, a possible lifetime ban coming and Stanley's continued insistence that he did not take banned substances.
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