Diaz to rehab at Springfield
Aledmys Diaz's rehab assignment has been transferred to Double-A Springfield from High-A Palm Beach.
After going 1-for-6 with two walks while serving as a designated hitter for the Beach Birds, the Cardinals All-Star took a day to reboot on Monday and will work out with the S-Cards on Tuesday. Diaz will start at shortstop in Springfield's postseason opener against NW Arkansas on Wednesday night.
According to General Manager John Mozeliak, the Cuban defector could be activated by St. Louis as early as this coming weekend.
Walden's rehab ends before it starts again
Jordan Walden's season and perhaps career appears to be over after the reliever was unable to pitch in a scheduled rehab assignment for Palm Beach due to continued discomfort in his right shoulder.
The righty, who will return to his home in Dallas, TX, could undergo shoulder surgery and is slated to become a free agent at the end of the regular season.
Williams' 2016 likely over
Low-A Peoria had among the most talented rotations in the minors this season, but after the promotions of Junior Fernandez, Sandy Alcantara and Brennan Leitao - the Chiefs rotation took a hit. As they lost those three arms, they also gained back with the promotions of two rising arms in Ronnie Williams and John Kilichowski from Low-A (short-season) State College.
With the Midwest League playoffs starting Wednesday, Peoria is likely to be without Williams for the postseason after the right-hander suffered a strained rotator cuff. The 6-foot-0 right-hander was placed on the 7-day disabled list on Labor Day (Monday).
The DL stint comes at an unfortunate time for the Cardinals 2014 2nd rounder, who was having arguably his best professional season and as a result received a July 31st promotion to Peoria. Overall, Williams posted a 5-5 record with 3.40 ERA through 13 starts in 2016, including 1.12 WHIP. He has struck 69 batters against 24 walks.
Chiefs' add Perez from DL
In the corresponding move, Peoria activated Juan Perez off the disabled list. Perez had been out for about five weeks with an elbow injury.
The right-hander has split time between starting and relieving for Peoria this season, delivering a 3-3 record with 5.14 ERA in 19 games (eight starts) over 56 innings. Perez has sat down 53 via strikeout and issued 32 walks.
Voit, Rodriguez named top August performers (St. Louis Cardinals release)
The St. Louis Cardinals announced Monday that Springfield Cardinals (AA) first baseman Luke Voit and Peoria Chiefs (A) right-handed pitcher Jorge Rodriguez have been named the organization’s Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Month, respectively, for the month of August.
Voit, 25, the Cardinals 22nd round draft selection in 2013 out of Missouri State University, batted .366 (34-for-93) during the month of August with four home runs and 20 RBI, reaching base at a .440 on-base rate while slugging .591. The switch-hitting Voit, a native of Wildwood, Mo., currently leads the Texas League in batting (.295) and hits (142), while ranking 2nd in OPS (.847).
Voit was also recognized as the Texas League Player of Month for August. The 6-3, 225-pound Voit was named a Texas League All-Star earlier this season and won the Texas League Home Run Derby during the league’s All-Star celebration at Hammons Field.
“With his excellent finish to the regular season in August, Luke has been selected as the organization’s Player of the Month,” stated Cardinals Director of Player Development Gary LaRocque. “Luke was also recognized for his outstanding play throughout the season, by being named to the Texas League Post Season All Star Team.”
Rodriguez, 22, went 2-0 with a 0.65 ERA in six games (5 starts) last month for the Midwest League’s Peoria Chiefs and fanned 27 batters in 27.2 innings pitched. A product of the Cardinals Dominican Academy, Rodriguez, was signed by the Cardinals on February 2, 2012 as a non-drafted free-agent from San Cristobal, D.R.
The 6-2, 175-pound right-hander is 4-1 with a 2.00 ERA on the season in 26 games (5 starts) while helping Peoria to a First Half title in the Midwest League’s Western Division. Rodriguez has totaled 63 strikeouts on the season in his 67.2 innings pitched and walked just 19.
“Jorge joined Peoria’s starting rotation in August and put together a productive month, totaling 27 2/3 innings and a 0.65 ERA, and a well-earned selection as Pitcher of the Month,” said LaRocque.
Though The Cardinal Nation has not announced an August Starting Pitcher and Relief Pitcher of the Month, Voit was named TCN's August Player of the Month last Friday.
Springfield hitting coach likely dismissed
Though TCN still lacks official confirmation, Springfield hitting coach Ramon ‘Smokey’ Ortiz has likely been relieved of his duties.
A source close to the situation informed TCN that Ortiz’s dismissal was likely due to personal decision-making. “He managed to provoke just about everyone,” the source stated.
When contacted, a senior official would neither confirm nor deny that Ortiz has left the organization, only stating the obvious, that the coach “is away from the team right now.” There is no word on an interim replacement, but Cardinals roving minor league infield instructor Ron ‘‘Pop” Warner had been rumored before it was shot down by the organization official.
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