Cardinals Minors Roster Shuffles Continue

Ryan Ludwick's trip to the disabled list started a number of other dominoes falling across the Cardinals system on Saturday.

The day after there were half a dozen moves across the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system, another major batch was served up on Saturday.

Outfielder Aaron Luna has been promoted to Triple-A Memphis. He was a Texas League All-Star Game starter despite not starting regularly for Springfield. Luna is taking the place of outfielder Jon Jay, who is heading to St. Louis to replace DL-bound Ryan Ludwick, out due to a calf injury.

Jay, 25, last went down to the Redbirds when the Cardinals signed veteran Randy Winn on June 5. The left-handed hitter played well at both stops. With Memphis, Jay's line is .321/.394/.491 and he is 13-for-13 in stolen bases. He also has a .302 average with St. Louis.

Luna, a 23-year-old right-handed hitter and on-base specialist, posted a solid .270/.419/.474 line in 215 at-bats over 70 Double-A games this season. Luna has 11 home runs and 40 runs batted in. He can also play second base in a pinch, but is considered a corner outfielder.

Even before losing Luna, Springfield was down to 22 active players - two players short. They netted up one, receiving infielder Jermaine Curtis and outfielder Tommy Pham from A-Advanced Palm Beach. Each will be making his Double-A debut.

Curtis, who turns 23 in one week, has no home runs and 20 RBI in 44 games, 156 at-bats this season. His line is a power-free .256/.383/.308. The former UCLA star, selected in the fifth round of the 2008 draft, began with Batavia in 2008 and split his time between Quad Cities and Palm Beach last summer.

Pham can be one of the hottest and coldest players in the Cardinals system. The right-handed hitter led the organization's minor leaguers in a number of hitting categories this spring, but was returned to Palm Beach for a third time after having first been assigned there late in the 2008 season. In a perfect illustration, the 22-year-old batted .186 with a .564 OPS in May only to hit .329 with an .875 OPS in June.

The Florida State League Cardinals are also temporarily down one player, picking up 21-year-old catcher Luis De La Cruz from the Batavia Muckdogs. The 2009 New York-Penn League All-Star already had one short stint with Palm Beach this season, but has accrued only 23 at-bats to date in 2010 between the two stops. The Dominican native is batting .304 with four RBI.

Infielder Alan Ahmady is getting the call to Quad Cities from the Batavia Muckdogs. He had returned to the New York-Penn League after serving a 50-game suspension levied after the 2009 season. Like De La Cruz, the 22-year-old was a 2009 NYPL All-Star, but hasn't hit much this season with a .208/.350/.271 line over 13 games and 48 at-bats with Batavia.

One of the newest Muckdogs is catcher Roberto Espinoza, sent down after being activated off Quad Cities' disabled list. The 21-year-old Venezuelan has missed most of the season between two lengthy DL stints, the most recent of which began on May 28. Espinoza made the best of his limited action, reaching base three times in four plate appearances with the Bandits. He went 2-for-3 with a walk. Espinoza has spent the last two seasons with Quad Cities, but struggled to hit .200 and his OPS there is under .600. He will be making his Batavia debut.

The other Batavia addition is second baseman Colin Walsh, already promoted from Johnson City. The 13th rounder from Stanford has a .261/.346/.261 Appalachian League line. In other words, he is still looking for his first professional extra-base hit after going 6-for-23 with JC.

17th round pick, outfielder Corderius Dodd, was first announced as signed by the Cardinals back on June 15, but a snag ensued and the club rescinded the announcement. The 6-foot-2, 230-pound right-handed hitter is now officially a member of the organization and assigned to the Gulf Coast League Cardinals.

Dodd is the 36th of the Cardinals' 53 picks from the 2010 draft to be signed.

Update: In addition the above moves, third baseman Niko Vasquez has been promoted to Palm Beach from Quad Cities. In 252 at-bats over 73 games, the 21-year-old has a line of .242/.381/.425. Vasquez has nine home runs and 32 RBI.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Brian pens a column each Wednesday at the St. Louis Globe-Democrat and selected TCN content appears at Follow Brian on Twitter.

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