Cardinals Minor League Roster Report: July 31

Six Cardinals minor leaguers are on the move, from Memphis to the Gulf Coast League.

The St. Louis Cardinals had a flurry of minor league roster activity on Thursday that touched at least five levels of their system.

Third baseman David Freese has been promoted to Triple-A Memphis from Double-A Springfield. Our Cardinals Minor League Player of the Year in 2008 has been working his way up the system in his recovery from ankle surgery in mid-May.

As one would hope and expect, the 26-year-old abused Double-A pitching with a line of .375/.444/.625 and five RBI in 16 at-bats over four games with Springfield. Though not announced yet, Freese may take the spot of Khalil Greene, if the latter is recalled to St. Louis from Memphis to cover for Brendan Ryan's ankle injury.

In other Springfield moves, right-handed pitcher Chuckie Fick was promoted from A-Advanced Palm Beach as we first reported for our subscribers here on Thursday morning.

As we anticipated, reliever Samuel Freeman was placed on Springfield's seven-day disabled list due to a sore left elbow in the corresponding roster move. Freeman has been sent to Cardinals camp in Jupiter, Florida for his rehab, reports the Springfield News-Leader.

Another Springfield player, left-handed starter Justin Fiske, began his Gulf Coast League Cardinals rehab stint with a Thursday debut. The 24-year-old hit the disabled list in late April due to a stress fracture in his throwing elbow. The original prognosis of four-to-six weeks out proved to be too optimistic as it has taken him twice as long to get back.

The former independent league player had posted a 7.34 ERA in 14 1/3 innings in three Double-A outings this season. In his GCL debut, Fiske allowed one hit and fanned one in one scoreless inning Thursday night.

Right-handed pitcher Jared Bradford, who had started in Gulf Coast League games as part of his rehab, has now been assigned to the A-Advanced Palm Beach Cardinals of the Florida State League, replacing Fick on their active roster. During minor league spring training, Bradford had been placed on the Quad Cities disabled list.

In three GCL outings, the 23-year-old allowed three earned runs in 5 1/3 innings, but struck out five while walking only one. Bradford was the Cardinals' 18th round selection in the 2008 draft.

In a sad note, the Cardinals released once-promising right-handed reliever Kenny Maiques. Our 15th-ranked Cardinals prospect in 2007 broke the single season save record at Quad Cities with 31 and seemed destined for the majors, but lost his way.

Maiques began the 2009 season in Springfield but couldn't throw strikes, walking 13 batters in just 3 2/3 innings. He was sent to extended spring training in late April and soon after was suspended 50 games for testing positive for a drug of abuse.

Here is hoping the young man, still just 24 years of age, can get his life back on track.

Note: For up-to-date rosters at every level of the Cardinals system and detailed player information, just click on the "Minor League Rosters" tab on the red bar at the top of this page.

In addition, for a glance at all players at all levels of the system on a single page, refer to the roster matrix, continually updated at The Cardinal Nation blog.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog.

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