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March 18th, 2023


March 18: Cardinals re-assign SS Jeremy Rivas to Minor League campRivas, who went 1-for-2 with a single after replacing Tommy Edman in the sixth inning of Saturday’s game against the Tigers, was re-assigned after the game, per the club. The Major League camp roster now stands at 46 players. Rivas went 3-for-12 in 15 Spring Training games.

March 16: Cardinals option Connor Thomas, Iv?n Herrera and Mois?s G?mez to Triple-A rosterThomas, Herrera and Gomez, a trio of Cards top prospects who came to Spring Training with hopes of making the MLB roster, were optioned to Triple-A Memphis on Thursday, per the club.

Thomas, the team’s No. 17 prospect and the Arizona Fall League Pitcher of the Year in 2022, pitched four scoreless innings against the Mets on Wednesday in Port St. Lucie. Thomas, who developed a highly effective cutter while working with Cardinals Hall of Fame reliever Jason Isringhausen, struck out eight in nine innings this spring.

Herrera, the No. 9 prospect in the organization, made his MLB debut in 2022. He bypassed a chance to play for Panama in the World Baseball Classic so that he could stay in camp with the Cardinals and battle for the backup catching position behind starter Willson Contreras. He hit .375 with one RBI over eight at-bats this spring.

No. 14 prospect Gomez hit a Cardinals Minor League-record 39 home runs last season in Double-A Springfield and Triple-A, but he didn’t have a homer in 33 at-bats in Spring Training, hitting .242 with one RBI.

March 15: Cardinals reassign top pitching prospect Tink HenceHence, the No. 3-ranked prospect in the Cardinals’ farm system per MLB Pipeline, was assigned to Minor League camp on Wednesday, reducing the club’s Spring Training roster to 50 players.

Hence, who hit 99 mph on the radar gun earlier in Spring Training, will go back into his regular role as a starter after coming out of the bullpen for the Cards in big league camp. The 20-year-old right-hander appeared in four games this spring, striking out five in 3 1/3 innings and allowing two runs (one earned).

“We’ve got to get him stretched out so that he can start,” said Cardinals manager Oli Marmol of Hence, describing his arsenal as “electric.”

Hence, a native of Arkansas who St. Louis selected in the 2020 MLB Draft along with top prospects Jordan Walker and Masyn Winn, was the Florida State League Pitcher of the Year in 2022. He went 0-1 with a 1.38 ERA in 16 starts, striking out 81 batters in 52 1/3 innings.

The Cardinals have 36 Major League roster players and 14 non-roster invitees remaining in camp.

March 15: IF Paul DeJong dealing with back painAfter DeJong was scratched from Tuesday’s game against the Astros with back pain, Marmol said on Wednesday that DeJong will be “sidelined for a few days.” The Cardinals do not believe that the injury is serious, and it does not significantly impact DeJong’s ability to swing the bat, but it has prevented him from bending his back to field ground balls.

“We’ll give him a few days and see how he responds to the treatment and overall work in the weight room, and then go from there,” Marmol said.

IF Paul DeJong (back pain)Expected return: Day to dayDeJong was scratched from the Cardinals’ March 14 game against the Astros with discomfort in his back, and manager Oli Marmol announced the next day that he would be “sidelined for a few days.” The Cards do not believe that the injury is serious; DeJong is able to take swings, but the pain prevents him from bending down to field grounders.

“We’ll give him a few days and see how he responds to the treatment and overall work in the weight room, and then go from there,” Marmol said. (Last updated: March 15)

OF Dylan Carlson (right arm fatigue)Expected return: TBDCarlson, who added 12 pounds in the offseason via a structured plan that has him downing 4,500 calories a day, is in a battle with Lars Nootbaar and Tyler O’Neill for the starting center-field job. Carlson injured his right arm on March 2 while making a throw home from right field and has been limited to DH-only duties since then because of arm fatigue. He is expected to see more time in center field in the coming days and weeks with O’Neill (Canada) and Nootbaar (Japan) off playing in the World Baseball Classic. Carlson entered play on March 6 tied for second on the team with four RBIs this spring, but he is just 2-for-10 with four strikeouts at the plate. (Last updated: March 6)

INF Jose Fermin (quad strain)Expected return: Several weeks at the earliestFermin, who has a spot on the 40-man roster and was acquired this offseason in a trade with the Guardians, is expected to miss multiple weeks with a quad strain. When asked if the injury was deemed significant, Cardinals manager Oli Marmol said, “Yeah, I would say so. Running down to first [on March 4], when he came out of the game, he strained his quad. I don’t want to put a timetable on it, but when we all hear the word ‘strain,’ we all know what that means.” (Last updated: March 6)