Daley Makes Big Jump; Diapoules Drops Back

Quad Cities pitcher Gary Daley, Jr. moves to Springfield, replaced by the returning Mark Diapoules, a 2008 Midwest League All-Star.

In what might appear at first blush to be a big step, right-handed pitcher Gary Daley has been transferred two levels, from the Quad Cities River Bandits of the Class A Midwest League to the Double-A Springfield Cardinals of the Texas League.

The 23-year-old technically isn't skipping over A-Advanced Palm Beach, though it had been a short stop during a season he would probably prefer to forget. In April 2008, he pitched in four games for Palm Beach along with 17 more later in the Gulf Coast League. Across the two stops, Daley walked 36 batters in just 13 innings. That was coming off an ineffective and injury-shortened 2007.

While his control has been better in 2009, 51 walks and 72 strikeouts in 76 2/3 innings, Daley is carrying a 6.93 ERA accrued over 32 games including ten tandem starts for the Bandits before being moved exclusively to relief.

The Cardinals may have decided they are running out of time and are pushing their third-round pick in 2006 from Cal-Poly. Daley is one of a large number of Cardinals farmhands who may become eligible to be taken in the Rule 5 Draft this December.

We will see if Daley is up to the challenge.

In a related transaction, right-handed pitcher Mark Diapoules has been activated from Palm Beach's disabled list and transferred to Quad Cities, replacing Daley on the River Bandits' active roster.

In doing so, Diapoules returns to the team with which he starred in the first half of 2008. He most recently had been on a five-game rehab assignment with the Gulf Coast League Cardinals.

The 24-year-old Floridian, taken in the 21st round of the 2006 Draft, split his 2008 season between Quad Cities and Palm Beach, where he was promoted in late June last year after having been named a Midwest League All-Star. Across the two stops, Diapoules posted an 8-4 record with a 3.93 ERA.

In 2009, he struggled in his return to the Florida State League, with a 6.48 ERA in 13 games, including six tandem starts. Diapoules experienced control issues, walking 27 in 33 1/3 innings. He went onto the disabled list on June 8.

Upon starting a rehab assignment late in July, Diapoules looked sharp against Gulf Coast League competition, fanning 14 and walking just two in 11 innings over five games.

Perhaps in his return to Quad Cities, Diapoules will benefit in taking a step backward to move forward.

In other Springfield news, outfielder Joe Mather's rehab has him moving up to Double-A. Outfielder Antone DeJesus is hitting the disabled list while pitcher Tyler Norrick is moving up from Springfield to Triple-A Memphis. Look for hot news items on each posted here at The Cardinal Nation.

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

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