On the heels of 14 transactions covered over the past weekend, we bring you seven more moves from the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system, all announced on Monday, May 15. The common thread is that all seven are pitchers.
Update: Bard called out
There was some spring training optimism that a new release point would lead to a revival for former Boston pitcher Daniel Bard. It did not come to pass, as the 31-year old was released by the Cardinals organization on Monday. The news was first reported by The Cardinal Nation’s Derek Shore.
Working from the Springfield bullpen, Bard could not find any control, walking a whopping 19 batters in 8 2/3 innings. That dwarfed the right-hander’s stingy total of six hits allowed, but the end result was 10 runs scored for an ugly 10.38 ERA.
Bard had joined the Cardinals on a minor league deal last June. He last pitched for the Red Sox in 2013 before injury and now, ineffectiveness have scuttled his career.
Bonus coverage: Piscotty's plan
Reporting from Springfield, Shore has learned the tentative playing plans for rehabbing St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Stephen Piscotty, who has been on St. Louis' disabled list since May 5 due to a right hamstring injury
The plan is for the 26-year old to play Tuesday, rest Wednesday, then play Thursday and Friday. Of course, Piscotty's status will be re-assessed daily and plans could change. The Cardinals will be entertaining the San Francisco Giants at Busch Stadium this coming weekend.
Nielsen returns to Triple-A
With reliever Rowan Wick having been placed on the Memphis Redbirds’ disabled list on Sunday, the new day brought a replacement from Double-A. (Monday’s starter, MLB rehabber Tyler Lyons, does not require a 25-man roster spot while with the Redbirds.)
Right-handed pitcher Trey Nielsen has been assigned to Memphis from the Springfield Cardinals. The 25-year old opened the season on the Double-A club’s disabled list until being activated on April 14.
In six appearances out of the bullpen and one start for Springfield in 2017, Nielsen has a 4.63 ERA, 11 strikeouts and two walks in 11 2/3 Texas League innings.
This will not be Nielsen’s Pacific Coast League debut. When a starting pitcher last season, Nielsen made a successful five-inning spot start for Memphis on July 9 before returning to Double-A.
At this point, it is just speculation on my part, but it is worth pointing out that Memphis does not have a posted starter for Wednesday. It would be injured Daniel Poncedeleon’s turn and it would also be Nielsen’s fifth day after his lone 2017 start for Springfield. On May 12, Nielsen threw three scoreless innings on a walk and a hit.
Beck bounds up
Right-handed pitcher Landon Beck has been assigned to the Springfield Cardinals from the Palm Beach Cardinals. The 24-year old will be making his initial Texas League appearance.
The reliever spent exactly 365 days with the Florida State League Cardinals, having joined the Palm Beach club from Peoria last May 14. In 14 1/3 innings over 13 outings this season, Beck logged a 3.77 ERA to go with 13 strikeouts and five walks issued.
McKinney moves again
Like Beck, left-handed pitcher Ian McKinney has also been assigned to the Springfield Cardinals from the Palm Beach Cardinals. Unlike Beck, McKinney knows the drill, having made two good Double-A spot starts in 2016.
Since then, the 22-year old has been moved to the bullpen. In nine relief appearances and one start for the Beach Bids in 2017. McKinney has a 2.59 ERA and two saves in two tries. He struck out 27 but issued 14 free passes in 24 1/3 Florida State League innings.
Leitao misses the min
On Monday, the Palm Beach Cardinals activated right-handed pitcher Brennan Leitao from the disabled list. The 23-year old missed the minimum seven days.
Leitao, who moved from starting in 2016 to the bullpen this season, has appeared in nine games. He 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.
Arias to the Beach
A month and a half was all right-hander pitcher Estarlin Arias needed in Class-A before his Monday promotion to the Palm Beach Cardinals from the Peoria Chiefs.
The 22-year old, who pitched for Johnson City in 2016, was very strong in his 10 Midwest League outings this season. Arias posted a 1.12 ERA after fanning 12 and walking five in 12 2/3 innings for the Chiefs. MWL batters collectively managed a meager .122 batting average against his offerings.
Right-handed pitcher Max Almonte has been promoted to Peoria from extended spring training, replacing Arias on the Chiefs’ active roster.
The 25-year old right-hander, St. Louis’ 16th-round pick in 2015 from Villanova, spent all of his first two professional seasons working out of the State College bullpen. There, Almonte logged a 2.82 ERA with 33 strikeouts against 17 walks in 51 New York-Penn League 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.
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