TCN reporter Derek Shore penned these capsules, with the exception of the first one.
Carpenter returns (Cardinals press release)
The St. Louis Cardinals announced prior to tonight’s series opener with Atlanta that they have activated All-Star infielder Matt Carpenter (right oblique) from the 15-day disabled list and optioned left-handed pitcher Dean Kiekhefer to Memphis (AAA)
Carpenter, who was disabled on July 7, missed a total of 24 games while on the disabled list. He appeared in four games with Springfield (AA) during an injury rehabilitation assignment and batted .333 (4-for-12) with a double and home run. Carpenter started three games at 2nd base and one at 3rd base during his rehab stint with Springfield.
Carpenter, who was named to his third N.L. All-Star team last month, is batting .298 (85-for-285) with 14 HR’s and 53 RBI in 78 games while producing career bests in both on-base pct. (.420) and slugging (.568).
Carpenter has made starts at third base (49 games), second base (24) and first base (3) this season.
Frequent traveler Kiekhefer back to AAA
To accommodate Carpenter on the 25-man active roster, St. Louis optioned Dean Kiekhefer back to Triple-A Friday afternoon. The crafty lefty returns to Memphis after a two-day stint with the big-league club; his fourth MLB stint overall this season.
Kiekhefer has made 14 appearances for the Cardinals, going 0-0 with a 4.85 ERA in 13 innings pitched. He has not been scored on in any of his last six appearances dating to June 3.
The 27-year old has posted a 4-1 mark with a 2.00 ERA in 23 relief appearances for Memphis this season.
Weaver to debut Monday
With reports surfacing of his promotion days before it was announced, Luke Weaver was officially promoted to Triple-A Memphis on Friday night. Weaver will make his Triple-A debut in Game 2 of a doubleheader on Monday against New Orleans (MIA).
The 22-year-old right-hander had a late start to the season due to a broken left (non-throwing) wrist sustained in a spring training batting practice collision. Since returning in June, he has been flat out masterful, posting a 1.40 ERA with a Minor League-best 88-to-10 strikeout to walk ratio through 77 innings.
St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak told KMOX that he wants Weaver to continue to control the strike zone and pitch deep into games at Memphis.
Wick healthy with managed workload
Springfield reliever Rowan Wick came off the seven-day disabled list on Friday after suffering general arm fatigue. I was told by a Cardinals official the reason for his DL time was to limit his workload in the first place, so hopefully, there won't be any reoccurring or nagging issues that will limit the big right-hander down the stretch.
On the season between Palm Beach and Springfield, the right-hander has compiled a 1.93 ERA in 34 games (32 2/3 IP) with six saves in eight chances. Wick has fanned 46 to 11 walks in his first full season as a hurler.
Caldwell off the shelf
The injury-plagued S-Cards gained one of their stalwarts, Bruce Caldwell, back from the DL Friday. Caldwell has been out with an oblique injury since July 25th, but returned to game action, manning shortstop and batting third in the series opener against Arkansas on Friday night.
The 24-year old will look to improve on his offensive output after a significant drop-off in his production since the first half. Caldwell is hitting just .143 (11-for-77) with no homers, four RBI, and a minuscule .195 slugging percentage over 24 games into the second half of the minor league season. One of his hiccups has been strikeouts, as he has already whiffed 32 times in the second half.
Herrera returns to the Beach
With Caldwell’s activation, Juan Herrera was returned to High-A Palm Beach. The defense-first shortstop hit a wall at the Double-A level, struggling to the tune of a .167/.197/.200 with no homers and nine RBI through 46 games after missing nearly three months in 2016.
Herrera spent all of 2015 at Palm Beach, but went onto the DL last June, missing the remainder of last season. With shortstop Edmundo Sosa on the DL currently, Herrera should play every day for the Beach Birds.
The Low-A Peoria Chiefs lost another key member of their rotation in Midwest League mid-season All-Star Brennan Leitao. The right-hander joined former Chiefs' starters Sandy Alcantara and Junior Fernandez with a promotion to High-A Palm Beach Thursday night.
The Cardinals 2015 36th rounder has enjoyed a successful first full season in the organization, posting a 6-7 record with 4.08 ERA in 18 games (17 starts), including a complete game shutout to cap his resume in 2016. The 23-year old has struck out 90 batters against 21 walks over 110 1/3 innings pitched.
Chiefs add reliever Ward
To make room for Leitao, the Cardinals re-assigned right-handed reliever Davis Ward to Peoria from Palm Beach. Ward has compiled 2-0 record with 1.74 ERA in just ten games this season after recovering from Tommy John surgery conducted in May of 2015.
The Little Rock, Arkansas native has fanned nine batters to three walks through 20 2/3 innings. Ward will make his Midwest League debut.
The Cardinals returned right-handed reliever Greg Tomchick to State College from Johnson City. The 23-year-old appeared in two Appalachian League contests since joining JC on July 28th, yielding two earned runs in 4 1/3 innings. Tomchick allowed five hits, walked none and fanned four.
Earlier with the Spikes, Tomchick posted a 7.94 ERA, allowing 10 runs in 11 1/3 New York-Penn League innings.
Pearce named July FSL Player of Month
Minor League Baseball recognized Palm Beach Cardinals innings-eater Matt Pearce as the July Florida State League Player of the Month on Friday afternoon. Pearce nabbed the Player of the Month honor days after claiming the Cardinals July Pitcher of the Month award.
The strike-throwing right-hander posted a 1.93 ERA over six July starts in the FSL. He led the league with 46 2/3 innings pitched and two complete games as he worked at least eight innings in four of his six starts. Pearce walked just two batters in July and was tagged with the loss on July 13 despite not allowing an earned run over eight innings pitched.
In addition, the Polk State College standout leads all of affiliated baseball with four complete games for the season, which set a new Beach Birds' franchise record.
Update on top pick Perez
According to The Cardinal Nation reporter Paul Ivice, St. Louis’ top draft pick from 2016, Delvin Perez, has been held out of Gulf Coast League action due to an injury to his right hamstring sustained earlier this week. After a great start offensively, Perez was batting just .236 in his last 10 games, and has 14 errors in 29 games, so there may be a rest element involved as well.
ESPN's Cardinals beat writer Mark Saxon spoke with John Mozeliak about the injury. The GM does not believe the problem is serious, describing Perez’ sitting as precautionary. The electric shortstop is batting .305 with a .407 slugging percentage while swiping 10 stolen bases in 11 chances in his first taste of pro ball.
Follow Derek Shore on Twitter @D_Shore23.
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