Zach Phillips (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images)

The St. Louis Cardinals are shuffling pitchers at four different levels and welcomed back a familiar face behind the plate.

The St. Louis Cardinals are shuffling pitchers at four different levels and welcomed back a familiar face behind the plate.

Phillips cut

To accommodate newly-acquired lefty Sean Gilmartin from the Mets at Triple-A Memphis, the Cardinals cut ties with lefty Zach Phillips, giving him his unconditional release. Phillies, a non-roster invite to big-league spring training camp after being signed over the off-season as a free agent, appeared in six games for the Cardinals in March, allowing three earned runs over 5 1/3 innings (5.06 ERA).

At Memphis, Phillips held a 1-4 record with 5.04 ERA, striking out 31 batters against 14 free passes. While his numbers may look decent, left-handed hitters dominated the southpaw reliever, batting .389 against him.


Zeid returns after brief hiatus

With Sam Tuivailala summoned to St. Louis, Josh Zeid returned to the Memphis active roster following a brief stint on the temporarily inactive list and was given Tuesday's start. The right-hander was signed as a free agent on March 28 and began the season in the Triple-A rotation. The 30-year old made nine starts and three relief appearances, logging a 6.11 ERA. Zeid has struck out 25, walked 25 and served up 14 long balls.

The temporarily inactive list is essentially an in-season excused leave of absence of a minimum of three days. It can be used for paternity, bereavement or family medical emergency leaves, or when a player has to return home for personal reasons.


Rivera out of retirement

After months of lack of clarity about his status, St. Louis’ 2013 seventh round pick Chris Rivera is returning to the organization and will apparently open his 2017 season with the Low-A (short-season) State College Spikes.

Originally an infielder, Rivera as moved behind the plate while at Johnson City for a second season in 2015. Last summer, Rivera worked mostly at Palm Beach, but also had a brief stint at State College and finished with one game at Memphis.

Over his four years in the system, the California native has been unable to progress with the bat, posting a career line is .207/.279/.323/.602, so that is an area in which he is looking to improve.


Arias back to PB

Estarlin Arias, 23, opened the season on Peoria’s active roster and was promoted to Palm Beach on May 15. With the Beach Birds, the right-hander dominated, with 16 strikeouts against two walks and an 0.90 ERA in 10 innings over eight appearances.

After three days away from the club when fresh pitchers were added following an extra innings contest, Arias will return to Florida State League action following a temporary reassignment to State College.


Perez shipped to Peoria

The Cardinals sent Juan Perez to Low-A Peoria following 20 games pitched with High-A Palm Beach. In the Florida State League, the 21-year old right-hander had a 1-0 record with 3.58 ERA, posting an 18-to-16 strikeout to walk ratio over 27 2/3 innings.

Perez returns to the Midwest League, where he spent all of the 2016 season.


Kilichowski shelved

Coming into 2017, former Vanderbilt standout John Kilichowski had plenty of helium in terms of being a prospect, especially after reaching Low-A Peoria at the end of his draft year. The helium has quickly worn off as the lefty has been torched to the tune of a 7.06 ERA in 11 games (10 starts) this season.

Through 43 1/3 innings during his first full season, Kilichowski has an 0-6 record with a 41-to-30 strikeout to walk count, while opposing batters are hitting a robust .335 against him. On Tuesday, the Cardinals 2016 11th round pick was placed on the seven-day DL with a left hip injury.


Follow Derek Shore on Twitter @D_Shore23.

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