Friday Cardinals minor league roster moves

The St. Louis Cardinals made a series of moves from Triple-A Memphis to extended spring training on Friday. Updated with Mitchell Boggs and Keith Butler news.

On Friday, the St. Louis Cardinals executed a number of moves across their minor league system, reaching from Triple-A Memphis to extended spring training. The initial group of seven transactions follows. If more are disclosed later in the day, they will be appended to the end of this article.

Voss
The Pacific Coast League Redbirds netted down one player from their active roster as reliever Eric Fornataro was placed on the seven-day disabled list while reliever Jay Voss was activated from the DL and transferred to A-Advanced Palm Beach. At this point, Memphis did not add anyone to replace Fornataro, whose move was retroactive to May 29.

Fornataro, 25, a member of the Cardinals 40-man roster, has been Memphis' busiest pitcher this season with 21 appearances. However, the normally-reliable right-hander has been shelled for seven earned runs over his last three appearances totaling four innings while absorbing a blown save and a loss.

For the season, Fornataro has a 5.68 ERA in 25 1/3 innings over 21 games. His strikeout to walk ratio is a pedestrian 15:8.

Voss, 26, has been throwing in extended spring training coming off Tommy John surgery one year ago. The left-hander joined the Cardinals organization in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft back in December from the Miami Marlins. Having first reached Double-A in 2010, Voss returned to starting in 2011.

Double-A Springfield gets its roster back up to 25 with the addition of reliever Jose Almarante from Palm Beach.

Almarante, 23, a native of Haiti, appeared in 16 Florida State League contests this season, including one start. The right-hander's ERA is 5.54 to go with a 26:10 strikeout to walk ratio over 26 innings. FSL hitters batted .295 against him.

In other Springfield news, a Florida rehab partner of Voss officially returned to the mound on Friday, albeit in extended spring training camp games. Right-hander Jordan Swagerty, The Cardinal Nation's 11th-round prospect tweeted that he is now pitching in live action.

Swagerty, 23, has been out 14 months following Tommy John surgery. His time away was elongated due to a bone spur in his pitching elbow discovered this spring.

Already down one player, Palm Beach remains that way, though they did receive a very hot pitcher in Zach Petrick, up from Peoria.

Petrick, 23, has not allowed a run all month, while logging an ERA of 0.83 on the season. The right-hander has 1-0 record and seven saves. Petrick fanned 46 and walked just eight in 32 2/3 frames for the Chiefs.

To replace Petrick on the Midwest League club, the Cardinals promoted from extended spring training camp a very familiar face in Robert Stock.

Stock, 23, reportedly had asked Cardinals coaches not to send him back to the MWL out of spring training camp, apparently not feeling ready to return full-season action. The right-hander is in his fifth partial season in the Class-A league, having first arrived there as a catcher in 2009.

Converted to pitching last year, Stock logged a 4.58 ERA in 38 games with Quad Cities, including two starts. The right-hander struck out 66 in 71 innings, but struggled with his control, issuing 48 walks.

The Chiefs also got a key offensive cog back in outfielder Charlie Tilson, who was activated from the seven-day disabled list, while returning outfielder Matthew Young to extended spring training.

Tilson, 20, our 21st ranked Cardinals prospect, went on the DL on May 22 due to a hamstring injury. In 133 at-bats over 38 MWL games, the left-handed hitter has forged a line of .278/.324/.376/.700.

Young, 22, was promoted from EST when Tilson went on the DL, appeared in four games for Peoria. The Cardinals' 20th round pick from last June went 3-for-14 (.214) including a double. Young fanned five times and drew one walk. He played in the New York-Penn League last summer.

Update 4:30 PM CT

St. Louis optioned right-handed reliever Mitchell Boggs to Memphis for the second time in May. In the corresponding transaction, they added 40-man roster reliever Keith Butler directly from Double-A Springfield.

On Thursday night, Boggs, 29, took his third blown save of the season and first since his two-week banishment to Memphis earlier this month. His ninth-inning home run allowed to Kansas City's Jeff Francoeur eliminated Michael Wacha's first St. Louis win.

Since his return from Triple-A, Boggs had allowed three earned runs, including two long balls in four innings pitched. The right-hander also issued three walks against just one strikeout. His season ERA sits at 11.59, worst among all MLB relievers with at least 10 innings pitched.

Butler, 24, had made 13 appearances with Springfield, where he had allowed just one run over 13 2/3 innings for a 0.66 ERA. Texas League batters managed just a .183 average against Butler, who fanned 21 and walked just two. He picked up seven saves as well.

Butler began the season with Springfield but was with Memphis from April 14 until May 4. He struggled in the Pacific Coast League, allowing six earned runs in 5 2/3 innings (9.53 ERA) before being returned to Double-A.

Butler is the ninth rookie pitcher and 11th rookie overall to appear on St. Louis' 25-man roster this season and 11th pitcher aged 25 or under.

By Saturday, the Redbirds will need to shed a player to make room for Boggs. Perhaps one of the current Memphis hurlers will be sent down to Springfield to balance the rosters. Already one player short before the Butler move, temporarily, the Double-A Cards are now two players under the 25-man roster limit.



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

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