Breaking Johnson City News

Sunday night happenings from the Appalachian League's Johnson City Cardinals as status of a dozen players are updated.

Shawn Kerrick, our local reporter in Johnson City, met with Cardinals manager Joe Almaraz on Sunday evening. Following are a group of updates on a number of current and former JC Cardinals. In several cases, we are pursuing independent verification and will update this article if needed as more information is learned.

Moving on

Right-handed pitcher Kris Bakey was released by the organization last week. The 22-year-old was previously listed on the Johnson City roster as disabled as he attempted to return from a shoulder injury. Bakey had not yet been able to pitch in any game action this spring or summer.

Note: A later clarification. Bakey technically remains a member of the organization after having been placed on the suspended list. He was not released.

Catcher Garrett Bussiere is no longer listed on the Johnson City roster as on their disabled list. It appears he may have released last week, also, but that remains to be confirmed. The 21-year-old has been sidelined since last July due to post-concussion syndrome.

Moving in

Left-hander pitcher Ryan Hodinka has been activated and added to the Johnson City roster, per pitching coach Sid Monge. Hodinka was previously resident on the Batavia disabled list, as he rehabbed his inflamed shoulder in Florida. The 23-year-old will wear jersey number 48 for Johnson City.

Injury report

Starting pitcher Matt North has now been transferred to the Jupiter complex in Florida to rehab his tendinitis. North is on "indefinite leave" due to the injury, according to Monge.

Shortstop Melvin Puello's season is apparently over. Almaraz was not positive, but he believes Puello had season-ending "Tommy John" ligament replacement surgery on his throwing (right) elbow. What is certain is that Puello will not see any action this year for Johnson City due to the injury.


Right-handed pitchers LaCurtis Mayes and Chuckie Fick will assume the closer role at Johnson City in place of Pete Parise, who was recently promoted to Batavia of the New York-Penn League.

Third baseman Nick Vera moved over to first base Sunday night and looks to be the new first sacker for Johnson City. Vera takes the job of newly-promoted Charlie Pelt, who also moved up to Batavia.

Vera may not be missed at the hot corner. Third baseman Tony Cruz looked very good Sunday night, both offensively and defensively with a double, home run and a pair of double plays started. Cruz was just moved up from the Gulf Coast League Cardinals (GCL).

Centerfielder Joey Hage had been listed on the roster in jersey number 35, but instead has switched to wearing number 5. That number was previously assigned to Brian Buck, who was transferred to the GCL.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at

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