The Cardinals have acknowledged that Chris Perez has been ready for Triple-A for awhile, but not until now have they actually decided that there is room for him at Memphis. With current closer Brian Falkenborg unable to report back to Memphis until Friday since he was designated for assignment, Perez will most likely assume the closing duties until then, at least.
Perez, 22, has racked up 27 saves, going 2-0 with a 2.43 ERA, allowing just 17 hits, striking out 62 and walking 28 in 40.2 innings for Springfield this season. His fastball sits in the mid 90s, but his best pitch is his slider that sits in the mid-80s. It has been speculated that Perez will be promoted to St. Louis when the rosters expand in September as an audition for the bullpen in 2008.
After not allowing a run in three games in the Gulf Coast League on a rehab assignment, righthander Mike Sillman was activated from the Memphis disabled list and transferred to Springfield on Tuesday.
Sillman, 25, had been on the disabled list since May 27 with a sore shoulder. This was his second stint on the disabled list for the same problem, as he was also sidelined from April 30-May 17. He appeared in 10 games for Memphis this season, going 2-0 with a 5.40 ERA, allowing six hits, walking 10 and striking out nine.
Another player activated from the disabled list is outfielder Cody Haerther. The 24-year-old will rejoin Springfield after a four game rehab stint in the GCL in which he hit .333 with a double and a triple.
Haerther has been sidelined since May 27 due to a broken hamate bone in his right hand that required surgery. He began the season on the Springfield disabled list after suffering a bone bruise in his hand during his first exhibition game in Major League camp. He has played in just 10 games for Springfield this season.
Speaking of rehab assignments, Tyler Johnson was added to the Springfield roster on Tuesday to continue his. He began the assignment in Memphis on Monday night by pitching a perfect nine-pitch inning, but the Redbirds are heading out on an eight-game road-trip so he was transferred to Springfield where he is scheduled to pitch an inning on Wednesday night.
And finally, the roller coaster ride known as Chris Russ continued on Tuesday as the 28-year-old righthander was sent back to Springfield. After returning from a stint in the Mexican League in late June, Russ appeared in one game for Memphis before being sent down to Springfield where he appeared in five games. He was then transferred back to Memphis where he had appeared in just one more game. In his previous stint with Springfield, he allowed five runs in 5.1 innings.
You may have noticed that an unfamiliar name, Julio Sanchez, picked up the win for the GCL Cardinals on Monday. The 22-year-old righthander was apparently signed by the Cardinals recently.
Sanchez appears to have originated from the Padres organization, but was released following the 2005 season and subsequently picked up by the Braves organization. He became a free agent following the 2006 season. Sanchez has spent the past two seasons pitching in the Arizona and Gulf Coast Leagues respectively.
Jason Scott can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.