Kelly's Triple-A Future
The Cardinals have promoted their second top position prospect to Triple-A in the last week, with Carson Kelly reuniting with teammate Harrison Bader at Memphis following his participation in MLB Futures Game on Sunday evening in San Diego.
Kelly, also a Texas League mid-season All-Star, was batting .287/.338/.403 with six homers and 18 RBI in 64 Double-A games this season. The 2015 Rawlings Gold Glove Catcher has logged 515 1/3 innings behind the plate this year with the S-Cards. He has compiled a .994 fielding percentage and thrown out 33 percent of attempted base-stealers.
I asked Kelly what the Futures Game selection tells him about how the Cardinals view him as a long-term catcher.
"It's just a tremendous honor to be out there and represent the Cardinals, especially here at the All-Star game and now the Futures Game. I'm very, very excited," Kelly said before the Texas League All-Star game on June 28th.
Kelly was 0-for-2 in the Futures Game and was robbed of a home run when Padres’ prospect Manuel Margot jumped to pull back a ball headed over the fence in deep center field.
Jenner backfills Springfield
With Kelly's promotion, Jesse Jenner was the odd man out on the Redbirds' roster. The Cardinals 2015 7th round pick last year was initially assigned to Memphis to provide a temporary replacement whenr Alberto Rosario was called to the big leagues last week.
Jenner appeared in only one game in this latest stint, going 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts in a rare start for regular Michael Ohlman. Jenner is 3-for-10 in four games with Memphis this year. Jenner made his season and Texas League debut on April 16th.
Reyes activated after Futures Game turn
Alex Reyes had been placed on the temporarily inactive list on Friday while at the MLB Futures Game. On Monday, Reyes was activated by Memphis.
In the Futures Game, the dynamic right-hander punched out four of the eight batters he faced, including swing-and-miss strikeouts on his fastball (twice), change (once), and curveball (once). Reyes averaged 98.5 mph on his heater, touching 100 often with two 101s as well.
"I've reached [triple digits] in the season. I don't know if I've done it every outing or what," Reyes told MLB.com. "It must have been adrenaline, just being out there. It was only two innings, so I kind of wanted to let the fastball eat a little."
The 21-year-old retired five batters on 38 pitches, 23 strikes, through 1 2/3 innings.
Nielsen back to Springfield
Trey Nielsen has been returned to Springfield following his fill in start for Reyes. Nielsen made his Memphis debut on Saturday, tossing 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball. The sinkerballer yielded two hits and four walks but struck out four to pick up his first Triple-A win against Round Rock (TEX).
Overall, Nielsen has a 3.39 ERA over 16 starts, 15 with Springfield. The right-hander has struck out 61 and issued 34 free passes in 93 innings pitched this season.
Gomber U-Turning to Palm Beach
Despite returning to High-A Palm Beach after stepping in for Nielsen, Austin Gomber provided a glimpse to the Springfield home faithful of what is coming perhaps later this month or in August. Gomber allowed one run over six strong innings in his Double-A debut on Saturday night against San Antonio. In a no-decision, the big southpaw struck out five and walked three.
In 15 starts this season, Gomber has 3.05 ERA in 91 1/3 innings pitched. He has fanned 81 and walked 25 batters.
Drongesen to MWL
Riley Drongesen was promoted to Low-A Peoria on Sunday, giving the Chiefs its 25th man on the active roster. The catcher had just three hits in 17 at-bats to open his season with Low-A (short-season) State College, including a solo home run on Independence Day.
Lucas named TL Pitcher of the Week
Springfield’s JJosh Lucas was outstanding in three appearances this past week, scoring an unusual recognition for a reliever, the Texas League Pitcher of the Week honors for the period of July 4th through 10th. The Texas League mid-season All-Star won two and saved one while tossing six innings of shutout baseball, scattering four hits and striking out four, while holding his opponents to a minuscule .182 opposing average.
Lucas's best performance came in a tight, 5-4 victory over San Antonio on July 5th, when the 25-year-old right-hander allowed just two hits, with three strikeouts in three innings of shutout ball from the ninth inning through the 11th, earning his third victory in the process.
Follow Derek Shore on Twitter @D_Shore23.
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