St. Louis Cardinals press release
The St. Louis Cardinals announced this morning that (Saturday) they have optioned right-handed pitcher Luke Weaver to the Memphis Redbirds (AAA) roster and re-assigned right-handed pitcher Mitch Harris to their minor league camp.
This morning’s transactions reduced the number of players in the team’s Major League camp to 51, including 16 non-roster invitees.
Brian Walton’s take
Weaver has been a bit of a disappointment this spring, though he had to leave his second outing, on March 1, due to lower back spasms. He needs to continue to work on his consistency, according to manager Mike Matheny. In four Grapefruit League appearances totaling five innings, the 40-man roster right-hander allowed seven runs on seven hits and an alarming eight walks against just one strikeout. Opposing batters averaged .300 against Weaver.
The timing is a bit telling, as other projected Memphis starting contenders Arturo Reyes, John Gant and Mike Mayers all remain in MLB camp.
Harris, who is recovering from a new procedure, elbow ligament repair surgery, received positive comments from Matheny on his quick recovery. The 31-year-old right-hander appeared in just two St. Louis games, yielding two runs in his first inning on March 7 and none in his second, six days later. Still, batters hit .400 against the former 40-man roster hurler.
Both Weaver and Harris should open the season with Triple-A Memphis.
Regarding the number of players still in camp, I am confused by the Cardinals’ count and need to look into it further. Their last count of 54 apparently did include catcher Luis Cruz, who appeared in Friday’s blowout at Port St. Lucie, but may or may not officially be “in camp”. There is still a discrepancy of two non-roster invitees. (Edit: The difference could be ex-WBC pitchers Corey Baker and Trey Nielsen, who no longer have stalls in the MLB clubhouse.)
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