Derian Gonzalez (Brian Walton / The Cardinal Nation)

Saturday news in the St. Louis Cardinals system includes two Dominican Summer League All-Stars and two activations off the disabled list

Saturday news in the St. Louis Cardinals system includes two Dominican Summer League All-Stars and two activations off the disabled list, but another key player going on. Also, exclusive news on three international signees.

The Brians are All-Stars

The 2016 Dominican Summer League All-Star Game, the league’s 15th, will be held this Sunday morning, July 17th at 10:00 am at the Seattle Mariners academy, with the All-Stars representing the American League taking on the Nationals.

If you are a DSL Cardinal whose name is Brian, you are in, with outfielder Brian Sanchez and right-handed pitcher Brian Pirela named to the NL All-Star team.

Sanchez is a man among boys and was a shoo-in to be named. The 20-year-old leads the 42-team league with 11 home runs (only one other hitter has as many as seven), in RBI with 46 (no other player has more than 28), slugging at .722 and OPS at 1.176. The Dominican Republic native’s power bat is a key reason the Cardinals went into the break in first place. is in his second season in the DSL after joining the organization in November 2014. He also was one of three Cardinals all-stars named to the 2015 game.

With just 14 innings pitched this season, Pirela does not have enough innings to be listed among the league leaders. The 18-year-old right-hander has a 3-1 record with a 1.93 ERA over his nine appearances, all in relief. The Venezuelan native allowed just 10 hits, fanned 24 and walked seven while holding opposing batters to a collective .193 average.

Pirela was a July 2nd signing in 2015.

Cardinals manager Fray Peniche and coach Erick Almonte are among the members of the Nationals coaching staff, under manager Carlos Valderrama, skipper of the 2015 league champion Giants.

With a 24-11 record, the Cardinals go into the break with a two-game lead in the San Pedro Division, one of six in the DSL as it is configured in 2016.


Echemendia returns to Springfield

Pedro Echemendia returns to Springfield from Triple-A Memphis to make room for Sam Tuivailala, sent down to Triple-A by St. Louis on Friday.

The 25-year-old Cuban began the season with Palm Beach., joined Springfield on May 14 and moved up again to Memphis on July 4. With the Redbirds, the right-hander performed well, throwing 5 2/3 innings over three games and allowing just one earned run on four hits and a walk.

Springfield was down a player so did not need to make another move to make room for Echemendia.


More bad news for Palm Beach offense

Already with the lowest-scoring offense in the 12-team Florida State League, the Palm Beach Cardinals were dealt another blow Saturday as leadoff man Darren Seferina was placed on the seven-day disabled list. The 22-year-old second baseman left Palm Beach’s 13-inning game Friday night in the bottom of the 12th. There was no indication of injury.

Seferina, The Cardinal Nation’s 29th-ranked prospect in the system, leads the FSL with 32 stolen bases and is tied for sixth with five triples but his slash line is a somewhat-disappointing .247/.311/.320/.631.


Turgeon returns

It is one second baseman for another as Palm Beach activated second baseman Casey Turgeon from the seven-day disabled list, taking Seferina’s roster spot. The 23-year-old had been out since May 29.

In his 22 games with the Beach Birds after his May 3 promotion from Peoria, the left-handed hitter had a line of .271/.386/.412/.798 in 85 Florida State League at-bats.


All-Star Gonzalez ready

The Peoria Chiefs activated right-handed pitcher Derian Gonzalez from the seven-day disabled list and gave him the ball to start Saturday night.

The Midwest League All-Star selection left Peoria’s June 15 contest with a shoulder injury and went on the DL the next day. Up until then, Gonzalez made 11 starts for 58 2/3 innings and posted a 2.91 ERA.


Velazco bumped

The Cardinals moved reliever Gerwuins Velazco from Peoria back down to State College on Saturday.

The 24-year-old Venezuelan had moved up to Peoria from State College on June 22. With the Chiefs, Velazco struggled, allowing eight earned runs in 10 2/3 innings. The right-hander gave up 15 hits, walked four and struck out five.

Where is Roy Garcia?

Among the July 2nd signings reported by Baseball America, but not by the Cardinals organization is Dominican pitcher Roy Garcia. According to BA, the right-hander is receiving a $200,000 signing bonus.

I have learned the reason the Cardinals have not announced Garcia coming to terms is that he is prohibited from actually signing until he turns 16 years of age. That will occur late next month.

Details on Pena and Guerra

As I wrote on Friday when the Cardinals announced the signings of shortstop Erik Pena and catcher Ivan Herrera, the players will not appear on the MiLB site because their contracts do not go into effect until 2017.

However, their player pages here at The Cardinal Nation are fully updated. Here are the specifics, as well. Oddly, Pena was born 1/6/00 and Herrera was born 6/1/00.

Erik Pena SS
Bats: S; Throws: R
5-9, 150
DOB: January 6, 2000
Hometown: Valencia, VZLA

Ivan Herrera C
Bats: R; Throws: R
6-0, 175 lbs
DOB: June 1, 2000
Hometown: Panama City, PANAMA

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

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