Sam Tuivailala (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Even before he was officially optioned out, Sam Tuivailala made his spring minor league debut for the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday.

Even before he was officially optioned out, Sam Tuivailala made his spring minor league debut for the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday.

St. Louis Cardinals press release

Following their win this (Wednesday) afternoon, the St. Louis Cardinals announced that they had optioned right-handed pitcher Sam Tuivailala to the Memphis Redbirds (AAA) roster.

http://www.scout.com/player/145217-sam-tuivailala?s=321

Today’s transaction reduced the number of players in the team’s Major League camp to 42, including 11 non-roster invitees.

 

Brian Walton’s take

In fact, the move was essentially done before the game, as Tuivailala pitched an inning for the Double-A Springfield Cardinals on the Jupiter back fields on Wednesday afternoon. The right-hander threw strikes in the 94-95 mph range and dialed up to 97 for a strikeout, but he also gave up a hard-hit double. His curveball, which was in the 80-82 range, was working as well. (For all the news from the minor league fields, including appearances by Tyler Lyons and Tommy Pham, check out The Cardinal Nation’s camp reports, exclusively for members. Join today!)

With Tuivailala, there is always the good and the bad. On the positive side, for St. Louis this spring, the 24-year-old struck out 12 against four walks in 6 2/3 innings while holding hitters to a collective .250 batting average. However, he also logged a 5.40 ERA based on yielding four earned runs over six appearances and his 1.50 WHIP was not dominating. When all is said and done, it was not enough to earn the final spot in St. Louis' bullpen, which may go to Miguel Socolovich.

Tuivailala, who has been up to St. Louis and down again 10 times already, will probably ride the St. Louis-Memphis shuttle again in 2017, with his primary vocation likely to be the Redbirds’ ninth-inning man for the third straight season.

For more

To see the current camp assignments, full 2016 season-ending rosters by level and position and every transaction across the entire Cardinals system on one page, check out the Roster Matrix, always up-to-date and free at The Cardinal Nation blog.

 

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