Tuivailala returns on the shuttle
Recalled to be the 26th man for Thursday’s doubleheader against the Toronto Blue Jays, Sam Tuivailala was returned by St. Louis to Triple-A Memphis following the interleague series-finale. Tuivailala did not make an appearance in his second stint with the big-league club in 2017.
With that, the power-armed righty was available to pitch Friday night for Memphis against Round Rock (TEX), throwing a scoreless frame in his return to the Pacific Coast League. Tuivailala has yet to be scored upon in 2017, blanking the opposition through 6 1/3 innings (five games) with a walk and seven strikeouts at Triple-A.
In his first 2017 stint with St. Louis, the 24-year old allowed an earned run (solo home run) through three innings of work.
New Rebounding Redbird Ravelo
Signed to a minor league contract on April 7, Rangel Ravelo, a former Oakland Athletics farmhand, is officially in game shape after preparing for this opportunity for the last three weeks in extended spring training, and on Friday, he was assigned to Triple-A Memphis.
Ravelo, 25, has compiled a .295/.363/.421 slash line with 29 home runs and 318 RBI over seven minor league seasons in the Athletics farm system. With limited over-the-fence power, Ravelo, who has experience at first, third, and both corner outfield spots, is more of an on-base oriented right-handed batter with gap power.
Listed as a first baseman on Memphis’ roster, Ravelo seems likely to spell in at all corner spots. The right-handed hitter becomes the fourth member of the Redbirds offense to have been brought in from the outside for 2017, joining Chad Huffman, Todd Cunningham and Wilfredo Tovar.
Garcia returned to Double-A
After being removed from the 40-man roster on Monday, Anthony Garcia, who cleared waivers from the roster at Memphis, was demoted to Double-A Springfield on Friday.
The 25-year old native of Puerto Rico was added to the 40-man in November 2015 to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. However, Garcia never seriously contended for a spot with St. Louis, even sent down to Double-A Springfield for almost two months last season, from late May to late July.
In 2017 with the Redbirds, the right-handed hitter was off to a rough 6-for-33 start and a slash line of .182/.250/.303/.553. Garcia was St. Louis’ 18th-round draft pick in 2009.
Catcher Luis Cruz, who lost the everyday catcher role for Springfield to the hot-hitting Gabriel Lino over the recent road-trip through the Natural state, was given his official release by the organization on Friday afternoon.
Springfield’s Opening Night backstop finished his career slashing .264/.325/.356 with 14 home runs and 101 runs batted in through 287 games (967 at-bats, seven seasons). First signed in 2010, Cruz has recently struggled behind the plate defensively, particularly blocking balls, and has not seen any traction offensively, having repeated the Double-A level.
Jenner back at Springfield
In the corresponding move, the Cardinals 2015 seventh-round pick Jesse Jenner replaces Cruz on the active roster, filling in the backup catching duties for Springfield. The 23-year-old had been playing in extended spring training.
Jenner, who spent time with High-A Palm Beach, Springfield, and Memphis in 2016, slashed .263/.308/.366 with three homers and 14 RBI over 52 games in his first full season last year. The right-handed hitter made his season-debut on Friday night against the Arkansas Travelers (SEA), going 1-for-4 with a single.
At 26 players, Springfield will have to make a corresponding move to get back to the 25-man limit.
Follow Derek Shore on Twitter @D_Shore23.
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