During the press conference for Mike Matheny’s extension, John Mozeliak informed us that Oscar Taveras, Mike O’Neill, and Greg Garcia had been added to the 40 man roster. They also removed John Gast and Jermaine Curtis, while Ryan Jackson was claimed off waivers by the Houston Astros. The moves mean that there are still 36 players on the 40 man roster, leaving room for a draft acquisition, a trade, or free agent signings.
Oscar Taveras, 21, is widely viewed as the best hitting prospect in baseball. He spent most of last season fighting a nagging ankle injury. He is expected by many to contend for a spot on the Opening Day roster for the Cardinals, if not start in center field this coming season. He hit .306/.341/.462 with 5 HR over 46 games for Triple-A Memphis last season.
Mike O’Neill, 25, was a name that I hadn’t heard before. He was a 31st round draft pick by the Cardinals in 2010. O’Neill has hit at every level of the minors and split last season between Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis. He posted a .314/.424/.369 slash line with 2 HR in 130 games.
Greg Garcia, 24, has been Kolten Wong’s double play buddy since college, as they both went to the University of Hawai’i. A long shot to stick at shortstop, it’s been said of Garcia that he probably would have moved to second base on every team he’s been on if not for Wong. Garcia struggled a bit with the jump to Triple-A, but still posted a solid season with a .271/.377/.384 line with 3 HR in 116 games. Continue reading
In a small move in comparison to what will happen in just a few hours, the Cardinals claimed outfielder Joey Butler off waivers from the Texas Rangers. Butler, 27, appeared in 8 games for the Rangers this season and went 4-for-12 with a pair of doubles, 3 walks, and an RBI. He notched playing time in both corner outfield spots.
Butler was drafted in the 15th round of the 2008 draft by the Rangers. He hit .291 with 12 homers, 51 RBI, and a .395 OBP in 119 games for Triple-A Round Rock this season. He has played 369 games in Triple-A over the last three seasons and is hitting an even .300 with 44 homers. He is a right handed hitter who has played all three outfield positions in his minor league career.
Butler is not eligible to play in the postseason with the Cardinals, but the team has long been searching for a right handed complement to Jon Jay in the outfield.
The Cardinals have recalled LHP Marc Rzepczynski from Memphis. RHP Carlos Martinez was optioned to make room.
After a 14th inning appearance where he walked two and allowed a hit that put the Diamondbacks on top for the eventual win, Victor Marte is on his way back to Memphis. Since his recall on May 27th, Marte has made four appearances allowing four hits and three walks. Not a recipe for success. Kevin Reynolds (@deckacards) and I had some fun at his expense last night on Twitter.
Kevin: This game has Marte throwing error written all over it.
Jon: That’s not a throwing error, that’s just how he pitches.
Kevin: I was waiting for that… it’s like I set it on a tee for you.
Jon: Also something Marte does well.
Marte had a time last season where he provided some valuable innings for Mike Matheny in the bullpen. Unfortunately, the league caught up and figured him out while he had some trouble finding the strike zone. Continue reading
Over the weekend the Cardinals indicated that Tyler Lyons would join the team to take Jaime Garcia‘s place in the rotation on Wednesday. What we didn’t know was what the team would do to fit him onto the 40 man roster. Now we do.
Right handed reliever Eduardo Sanchez was placed on waivers to remove him from the 40 man roster and was claimed today by the Chicago Cubs. He will reportedly start his Cubs career with Triple-A Iowa.
Sanchez, 24, was signed as an amateur free agent and is known for his wicked slider. It was that slider that made him a favorite in 2011 as the Cardinals hunted for a closer. Unfortunately, Sanchez’s inability to throw strikes has re-emerged in recent years. Last year in 15 innings in St. Louis, he walked 12 batters. So far he’s done a better job this season preventing walks, but he is still allowing too many. Continue reading
Thursday night’s struggles were apparently the final straw for the Cardinals’ organization. Getting the call in the 7th inning to help get Joe Kelly out of a mess, Mitchell Boggs proceeded to walk the first two batters he faced, allowing Milwaukee to score their third run of the ballgame. Trevor Rosenthal came in at that point and struck out Martin Maldonado to end the threat.
It was the most recent in a series of disappointing struggles for Mitchell Boggs who was arguably the best setup man in baseball in 2012. The injury to Jason Motte in spring training put the bullpen in flux and Boggs was never able to settle in to the closer’s role. As a result, he continued to struggle with both mechanics and confidence.
Despite the struggles, he was still regularly used by manager Mike Matheny notching 14 appearances, second most in the bullpen to Rosenthal. At this point though, Boggs is allowing 2.72 walks and hits per inning pitched and has a ballooned ERA of 12.66. He has blown two saves and been the pitcher on record for two more losses. A far cry from the pitcher who was dominant in the eighth inning last season. Continue reading