Jason Scott's Cardinals Prospect Report- 5/26

Our popular weekly feature with news and commentary about Cardinals minor leaguers from our Minor League Co-Editor Jason Scott. This week's report focuses on pitchers Chris Narveson, Andy Cavazos, Stuart Pomeranz, Blake Hawksworth and more!

Chris Narveson has apparently recovered from offseason shoulder surgery. On Tuesday, the Cardinals assigned the 24-year-old lefty to high Class A Palm Beach.

A second round draft pick by the Cardinals in 2000, Narveson was the centerpiece of the trade with Colorado that brought Larry Walker to St. Louis in 2004. He finished that season in the Rockies organization, but was traded to Boston along with Charles Johnson for Byung-Hyun Kim during spring training in 2005.

The Red Sox placed Narveson on waivers on August 8, after he struggled for Triple-A Pawtucket, and the Cardinals picked him up. He made just two starts for Memphis before being shut down for the season because of shoulder soreness. Over the offseason, Narveson underwent surgery on his labrum.

Narveson underwent Tommy John surgery after the 2001 season, but returned in July the next season. In 2004, Baseball America ranked him as the Cardinals No. 3 prospect.

• Righthander Andy Cavazos was promoted to Triple-A Memphis on Saturday. The 25-year-old had appeared in 16 games for Double-A Springfield, posting a 0.45 ERA, allowing six hits, striking out 19 and walking 12 in 20 innings pitched.

The Cardinals picked Cavazos up in the 2002 Rule 5 Draft. He split last season between Springfield and high Class A Palm Beach before playing in the Arizona Fall League for the second consecutive year.

• It is likely that righthander Stuart Pomeranz will be promoted to Triple-A Memphis soon. A second round draft pick by the Cardinals out of Houston High in Memphis in 2003, Pomeranz is 6-0 with a 3.00 ERA through his first nine starts for Double-A Springfield this season.

"It could become more of a distraction," Cardinals assistant general manager John Mozeliak said to the Memphis Commercial-Appeal, of Pomeranz pitching in his hometown. "But the reality is it's his hometown and that's not going to change. For him to reach his goal, he's going to have to pitch here. So if we think he's mentally ready to do that, and based on the way he's pitching down in Springfield so far ... the likelihood of him ending up here sometime this summer is very high."

If and when Pomeranz gets promoted it will likely be Blake Hawksworth that replaces him in the Springfield rotation. The 23-year-old is 4-2 with a 2.13 ERA in nine starts for high Class A Palm Beach.

Hawksworth has been topping out in the low-90s with his fastball this season. Prior to the labrum surgery that he underwent in 2004, Hawksworth's fastball averaged 92 mph and topped out at 95. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, to expand his repertoire and compensate for any permanent dip in speed, Hawksworth has added a cutter to go along with his changeup and breaking pitch.

Brandon Yarbrough's promotion to high Class A Palm Beach on Tuesday will mean that Bryan Anderson, with whom Yarbrough was sharing catching duties with at Quad Cities, will become the Swing's starting catcher.

Yarbrough, 21, was hitting .303 with one home run and 12 RBI in 29 games for the Swing. Anderson has done even better. The 19-year-old is hitting .330/.421/.477 with one home run and 15 RBI in 29 games.

Email: jasonscott@thecardinalnation.com

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