The St. Louis Cardinals announced prior to tonight’s (Monday) series opener in New York that they have purchased veteran right-handed pitcher Jerome Williams from Memphis (AAA).
In order to make room for Williams on its 40-man Major League roster, the Cardinals have transferred right-handed pitcher Jordan Walden (right shoulder) to the 60-day disabled list. The team optioned rookie pitcher Mike Mayers to Memphis following last night’s game.
Williams, 34, was signed by the Cardinals to a minor league contract in June. He was 5-3 with a 4.89 ERA in nine starts (57.0 IP) for the Triple-A Redbirds, allowing just 15 walks while fanning 34.
The 6-3, 260-pound Williams is a veteran of 10 seasons in the majors with a career mark of 52-66, 4.57 ERA in 225 games (149 games started). He was 4-12 in 33 games (21 starts) for Philadelphia last season.
Williams, a native of Hawaii, was the San Francisco Giants 1st round draft pick in 1999. He debuted with San Francisco in 2003 and has had career stints with the Giants (2003-05), Chicago Cubs (2005-06), Washington (2007), Los Angeles Angels (2011-13), Houston (2014), Texas (2014) and Philadelphia (2014-15). Williams pitched in the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) in 2010.
Williams has been assigned uniform no. 38.
Brian Walton’s take
Williams last pitched five days ago, going seven innings on the 20th for Memphis, so a Sunday appearance would have been on short rest. Still, though it is clearly done with 20-20 hindsight, one has to wonder how much better Williams had fared if he had been asked to take the ball instead of Mayers.
With the Cardinals not needing an extra starter in the foreseeable future, it appears that Williams will offer a fresh arm offering innings for a bullpen that has been worked heavily since last Wednesday’s double header, including a 16-inning game Saturday and Mayer’s short start Sunday.
For that reason, I understand why Williams was added instead of one of the more likely choices, short men Dean Kiekhefer and Sam Tuivailala.
Memphis has announced Corey Baker as its new starter for Monday night.
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