Flaherty flying higher
Already named the Pitcher of the Month by both the St. Louis Cardinals organization and The Cardinal Nation, 21-year old Jack Flaherty added another honor on Monday, the Texas League Player of the Month for April, an award encompassing all hitters and pitchers.
The right-hander dominated Texas League hitters, going 4-0 with a 0.56 ERA in five starts. Flaherty pitched deep into games, first in the Double-A league with 32 1/3 innings pitched and his 28 strikeouts were just one behind the leader. Texas League batters managed a collective .191 average against The Cardinal Nation’s seventh-ranked prospect.
Weaver the winner
Memphis Redbirds right-hander Luke Weaver came off the disabled list in the strongest manner possible, with his first two starts leading to Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week honors for the period of May 1-7.
Over his two most recent outings, The Cardinal Nation’s second-ranked Cardinals prospect threw 13 shutout innings without issuing a walk. Weaver allowed just seven total hits and fanned nine. Opposing hitters batted a collective .171 against him during the pair of victories, part of the Redbirds’ record 10-game winning streak.
Billings books flight
The high-A Palm Beach Cardinals were one outfielder down resulting from last week’s moves that fell like dominoes, starting with St. Louis. That was rectified for the Florida State League Cardinals on Monday as outfielder Shane Billings promoted from Class-A Peoria to Palm Beach.
The 22-year old joined Peoria from extended spring training on April 14 to replace Nick Plummer. In his first 16 games, 61 plate appearances, in full-season ball, Billings put together a .300/.311/.333/.644 slash line that includes four RBI, eight runs scored, seven strikeouts, just one walk and a 1-for-4 rate in stole base attempts.
On Monday, Palm Beach placed reliever Brennan Leitao on the seven-day disabled list.
The 23-year old, who moved from starting in 2016 to the bullpen this season, appeared in nine games. Leitao allowed five earned runs on 15 hits and five walks in 15 1/3 innings for a 2.93 ERA. The right-hander fanned 11 but yielded two long balls and blew his only save opportunity to go with one win.
Ciavarella gets chance
To replace Leitao on the Palm Beach roster, the Cardinals promoted Anthony Ciavarella from extended spring training.
The 23-year old lefty made 11 appearances, including eight starts, for the Gulf Coast League Cardinals in his professional debut. Against that younger competition, Ciavarella logged a 2.09 ERA over 38 2/3 innings. He fanned 36 against 12 free passes issued.
Marco and Jhonny off in different directions
My interpretation is that Gonzales is likely not going to pitch another game for the Beach Birds. He is being parked on the State College roster, probably until his fifth day comes and he moves to his next assignment. My best guess is back to Memphis.
This way, Gonzales’ Palm Beach roster spot can be used on an active player.
Peralta first joined the Beach Birds on Friday and went 2-for-8 with four strikeouts in three games over the weekend. However, with Palm Beach heading out on the road starting Monday, Peralta will not travel with the team, instead getting in his work in Jupiter during extended spring training games. For those wondering, It is customary for major leaguers on rehab assignments to not go on the road.
Plummer's house call
On Monday, the Peoria Chiefs received outfielder Nick Plummer, who was activated from the 10-day disabled list. He takes Billings’ spot on the active roster of the Midwest League club.
As I reported last week, Plummer had reported to extended spring training in Jupiter, Florida and began play there one week ago to get back into game shape.
St. Louis’ first round draft pick in 2015 suffered an oblique injury on April 13, after missing all of 2016 due to hamate surgeries on his hand. The 20-year old was still knocking off the rust, with two singles and a double in 15 at-bats to go with six strikeouts and three walks in his first six Midwest League contests. Plummer’s early slash line is .200/.368/.267/.635.
Tomchick bids adieu
The Cardinals released right-handed relief pitcher Greg Tomchick off the Peoria roster.
The 24-year old was originally drafted by St. Louis in the 27th round in 2015 from Old Dominion. Tomchick spent most of the last two seasons at State College, so it was time here in 2017 to sink or swim in full season ball. He struggled badly against Midwest League hitters, who knocked him around at a .333 clip. Tomchick allowed 13 runs, including three long balls, in 12 innings for a 9.75 ERA. He struck out just six and walked 10.
Right handed pitcher Frederis Parra has been added from Extended Spring Training/Johnson City to replace Tomchick on the Chiefs active roster.
The 22-year old native of the Dominican Republic was a member of the Johnson City rotation in 2016, logging a 2.53 ERA. Parra struck out just 36 in 63 1/3 innings, but gave out just seven free passes.
Sexton scores promo
The Chiefs had a second roster opening with Eric Carter away from the club temporarily. That has been filled with right-handed reliever Austin Sexton, added from Extended Spring Training/State College.
The 22-year old had joined Palm Beach from EST for five days starting on May 3 and made two relief appearances, allowing one run on three hits and two walks in six innings. He was then returned to extended spring training. Last season in his professional debut, Sexton made six starts for Johnson City, with a 3.32 ERA and 13 strikeouts against five walks in 19 innings.
For roster and player information
The team rosters here at The Cardinal Nation are as up-to-date for St. Louis and all four full-season clubs. All EST players remain on one of the short-season clubs based on where they ended 2016. To access these team rosters, click on the words “PROSPECTS” > “MiLB Rosters/Player Pages” underneath The Cardinal Nation site logo.
To see the Cardinals’ entire system by level and position on one page along with every player transaction for every club all year long, check out the newly-refreshed Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation blog.
© 2017 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com and scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.