The St. Louis Cardinals have said goodbye to a long-time member of the organization with the Thursday release of left-handed pitcher Anthony Ferrara. The Cards' seventh-round selection in the 2008 draft had been a starter until his invitation to the Arizona Fall League in 2013.
As a reliever with the Double-A Springfield Cardinals in 2014, the 24-year-old logged a 4.80 ERA in 30 innings over 17 Texas League contests. Ferrara struck out 18, but walked 10 and threw a whopping eight home run pitches. In his final outing, back in May 31, the Florida native threw two scoreless frames.
Ferrara first joined Springfield in 2012, but never reached Triple-A.
An Improved Shaban?
Replacing Ferrara on the Double-A Cardinals roster is reliever Ronnie Shaban, activated from the seven-day disabled list.
The 24-year-old went on the DL on May 14. Struggling in his first season at Double-A, the right-hander had an ERA of 11.12 in 11 1/3 innings over 12 games.
Shaban was successful in 2013, saving 18 games for Palm Beach and was TCN's Reliever of the Year at the A-Advanced level.
After just one Florida State League start, pitcher John Gast has left the roster of the A-Advanced Palm Beach Cardinals. The left-hander, coming back from shoulder surgery, has been returned to the Memphis Redbirds, but was not immediately activated by the Triple-A club.
On Monday, June 2, his first outing since being injured with St. Louis last May, the 25-year-old threw five one-run innings at the Lakeland Tigers. Gast allowed five hits, two walks and struck out one. He had last pitched in the FSL in 2010.
Llorens Loaded and Ready
One of the top strikeout pitchers in the Cardinals system came off Palm Beach's disabled list to take Gast's roster spot. Side-arming right-hander Dixon Llorens was activated on Thursday.
The 21-year-old has 23 strikeouts in just 14 1/3 Florida State League innings, but also issued 11 free passes while logging a 2.51 ERA. Llorens missed an entire month, having last appeared on May 4.
Peoria Rotation Juggled
For the Class-A Peoria Chiefs on Wednesday evening, injured Michael Holback was replaced as the starting pitcher by Chase Brookshire, as previously reported. The juggling continues on Thursday as the turn of Arturo Reyes was skipped.
The newly-named Midwest League all-star suffered a slight hamstring injury during his prior start while covering first base on a put out. Reyes left the May 29 game after five one-run innings.
With 12 games remaining in the first half and his club in contention for a wild card playoff berth, manager Joe Kruzel used this week's off-day to shift his rotation to maximize match-ups. The current plan to end the first half has Rob Kaminsky and Reyes starting the final two games as the Chiefs look to clinch against Clinton.
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