While the original moves on Monday were the St. Louis Cardinals bringing pitcher Trevor Rosenthal off the 10-day disabled list and the optioning of reliever Sam Tuivailala to Triple-A Memphis, the latter transaction was not initially executed by the Redbirds.
Instead, on Monday, the Triple-A club announced the addition of right-handed starting pitcher Daniel Poncedeleon from Double-A Springfield. The 25-year-old has been named Tuesday’s starter for Memphis, taking the spot of injured Luke Weaver.
Weaver went onto Memphis’ seven-day DL on Sunday, but the transaction was retroactive to Friday. According to Jen Langosch of MLB.com, Weaver is dealing with lower back pain. This looks to be a recurrence of a problem that sidelined him for 10 days after it flared up in his second spring training appearance, on March 1.
Poncedeleon, The Cardinal Nation’s 36th-ranked prospect for 2017, will be making his season debut as well as his Pacific Coast League premiere on Tuesday, which is also Memphis’ home opener. Last season, Poncedeleon made a Texas League-high 27 starts for Springfield, going 9-8 with a 3.52 ERA to earn midseason All-Star honors.
Expect both the Triple-A and Double-A clubs to make further moves on Tuesday. Memphis will need to shed a player to make room for Tuivailala and Springfield requires a roster replacement for Poncedeleon.
Update - A New Addition
The Cardinals have signed former Oakland first base prospect Rangel Ravelo, per Matt Eddy of Baseball America.
Ravelo was one of four players the A's received from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for Jeff Samardzija and Michael Ynoa before the 2015 season. The right-handed hitter, the 2015 Rookie of the Year in the Venezuelan Winter League, got off to a slow start in 2016 at Triple-A, but had an improved second half. Still, he was removed from the 40-man roster last fall and went unclaimed on waivers.
Blocked at first base with Oakland’s Triple-A club this season and considered too experienced for Double-A, the 24-year-old was released at the end of spring training. (Ravelo turns 25 in two weeks.)
In 134 games at Triple-A over the last two years, Ravelo’s slash line is .265/.332/.391/.733. He is a good contact hitter who does not strike out a lot, but just nine home runs in 468 at-bats points to his biggest open question.
At this point, it is unclear whose roster spot Ravelo would be taking and at which level. It could be that the Cardinals have him report to extended spring training for an interim period, rather than making an immediate roster placement.
Update #2 - A subtraction
In order to accommodate the addition of Tuivailala to the Memphis roster on Tuesday, the parent Cardinals gave right-handed swingman Kurt Heyer his release.
The 26-year-old was St. Louis’ sixth-round draft pick in 2012 from the University of Arizona and was never added to the 40-man roster. Heyer first reached Memphis in 2014. Over his three-plus years at Triple-A, the California native posted a 5.71 ERA, logging 67 strikeouts and 44 walks over 108 2/3 innings.
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