Pearce making another jump
In the move that started Saturday's trickle down affect, Matt Pearce was promoted to Triple-A Memphis on Saturday afternoon in what will likely be a spot-start situation, and perhaps becoming a more significant role if needed. Pearce struggled in his first two Double-A starts before striking out a career-high 11 batters over eight strong innings in his previous Springfield outing last Tuesday night.
Overall, the Cardinals July Pitcher of the Month has posted 9-10 record with 2.95 ERA through 23 starts, including minor-league best four complete games. The right-handed strike thrower has 97-to-22 strikeout to walk ratio while posting 1.03 WHIP over 152 2/3 innings between Springfield and High-A Palm Beach this season.
Bader sliding down to Springfield
To accommodate Pearce, Harrison Bader returned to Springfield on Saturday - likely in preparation for the Texas League playoffs. Bader, who slashed a disappointing .231/.298/.354 with three homers and 17 RBI for Memphis, went 1-for-3 with a RBI double in his first game back at Double-A since July 4th.
On the season, the outfielder, who got off to a fast start, has slowed considerably, but still holds .267/.333/.444 slash between the Texas League and Pacific Coast League. Bader has slugged 16 homers while driving in 51 RBI over 123 games (430 at-bats). While he is displaying good extra base and home run power, the strikeouts remain high, but not quite at an alarming rate.
Nonetheless, the return of his bat will provide a huge boost for a team that has experienced a revolving door at lead-off in his absence.
McKinney to make Double-A debut
Taking the rotation spot of Pearce, Springfield added Palm Beach left-handed starter Ian McKinney on Saturday. McKinney is slated to make his Texas League debut on Sunday against Tulsa (LAD).
With one week left in the season, the 21-year old has logged career-high 123 innings through 23 games (22 starts) for the Beach Birds'. The 5-foot-11, 185 pounder, has compiled 7-10 record with 4.17 ERA while posting 101-to-50 strikeout to walk in 2016.
Spitz backfills to the Beach
With Bader falling back to Springfield, Thomas Spitz was returned to Palm Beach. Spitz was 4-for-16 (.250) in four games for the Springbirds. He doubled once and knocked in two.
For 2016, the outfielder has split time between Low-A Peoria and Palm Beach before his recent stint at Double-A. The right-handed hitter owns a .251/.338/.331 slash line over 111 games (378 at-bats) and has four homers with 42 driven in.
Evans' rehab ends
With one lefty gone, Palm Beach regained another one in the form of Jacob Evans on Saturday. Evans, who has missed parts of the past two months due to injury, appeared in two rehab games for GCL Cardinals, throwing five shutout frames. On Sunday, he will make his first High-A start since July 22nd.
For the Beach Birds, the 22-year old has a 3-7 record with 3.98 ERA in 14 starts (81 1/3 innings pitched). Evans has struck out 43 against 15 walks on the season.
Pritchard to DL for third time
On Saturday, Michael Pritchard returned to a familiar place this season, landing on the disabled list for the third time for Palm Beach in 2016.
Through 65 games, the left fielder has .256/.376/.308 slash in 227 at-bats for the Beach Birds. Pritchard has zero homers and 13 RBI but has walked 42 times against 26 strikeouts.
Rivera back off the shelf
After his second DL stint this month, Chris Rivera was activated by Palm Beach on Saturday. The 21-year old was hitless in three at-bats in his return to action for the first time since August 18th, a game in which he clubbed a grand slam.
Over the season, in 43 games between Palm Beach and State College, Rivera has a very modest slash line of .163/.255/.230/.485.
Garcia backtracks to JC
Erik Garcia received the call from Johnson City to fill the spot of the injured Rivera on August 19th. Now, the minor league free agent signee last October will backtrack to rookie level Johnson City.
The 23-year old has a slash line of .217/.258/.277 in 83 at-bats over 23 contests this season. The former University of Missouri Baptist product had a sacrifice fly in three at-bats in his lone game for Palm Beach.
Follow Derek Shore on Twitter @D_Shore23.
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