The parent St. Louis Cardinals prepared the Double-A Springfield Cardinals for the Texas League playoffs by substituting five players out – and of course, adding five others to replace them. Four of the newest Cardinals spent a majority of the season with Springfield, with one a 2016 draftee.
Eight of the 10 are pitchers with the final one in each group of five below are infielders.
Three Returnees from Memphis
Springfield received three hurlers back from the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds, whose season ended on Monday. Matt Pearce (August 27), Josh Lucas (August 29) and Ronnie Shaban (August 26) had all moved up within the last two weeks. Infielder Bruce Caldwell (August 29) was on the same plan to get a taste of Triple-A before competing in the Texas League playoffs.
With the Redbirds, Caldwell went 3-for-20 in six games, including a triple, two RBI and two walks. He also struck out eight times. Pearce made two starts, totaling 11 innings and taking two losses on nine runs, six earned. In two stints, Lucas also allowed nine runs, with eight of his earned, in just 7 2/3 innings over seven Triple-A games. Shaban was most successful, tossing 3 1/3 scoreless innings on four hits, no walks and two strikeouts.
Wacha Plan for Hudson
One of the Cardinals’ first-round draft picks this June, pitcher Dakota Hudson, made his second location move on the seventh. On August 7, the right-hander was promoted to Palm Beach from his first home as a professional, the Gulf Coast League. Now, on September 7, Hudson has been bumped up to Springfield.
Hudson is following a rough path first blazed by St. Louis pitcher Michael Wacha in his first partial summer after being drafted. At Palm Beach, the 21-year-old threw 9 1/3 innings in eight games out of the bullpen. Hudson allowed three runs, one earned (0.96 ERA), with 10 strikeouts and seven walks. His batting average against was .188 and he induced an eye-popping 16 ground balls for every fly.
Three Returnees to Palm Beach
Springfield sent three pitchers back to high-A Palm Beach, also having recently promoted in the opposite direction. They are starters Johnny Walter (August 11) and Ian McKinney (August 27) plus reliever Blake McKnight (August 26).
In two stints with Palm Beach, Walter made eight starts and one relief appearance, logging a 6.24 ERA. McKinney started two games, dodging trouble (nine hits and seven walks in 9 1/3 frames) by yielding just three runs. McKnight threw five innings in four Double-A contests, charged with a whopping six runs (10.80 ERA).
With the Beach Birds’ 2016 season over, so it appears to be for the trio.
Utilityman Jonathan Rodriguez was placed on Springfield’s temporarily inactive list. The 27-year-old played in both corner infield and corner outfield positions and even took the mound three times on an emergency basis this season, his third at Double-A.
In 2016, Rodriguez posted a .255/.346/.387/.733 line in 302 at-bats over 81 games with the S-Cards. He also played in 39 games with Memphis.
Wright Promoted (on Paper)
The Cardinals moved reliever Justin Wright from Springfield up to Memphis. However, since the latter club’s season is over, the shift appeared to be driven by a desire to have another pitcher on the Springfield roster for the Texas League playoffs.
The lefty had been with Memphis from the start of the season until being sent back down to Springfield on June 21.
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