(Busch Stadium) Following his team acquiring a pair of left-handed relievers, St. Louis Cardinals General Manager Michael Girsch discussed those moves and potential for more before tonight’s game.
“He’s been a starter most of his career,” Girsch said of Adalberto Mejía. “First time in the bullpen, been effective against lefties. He struggled early in the year, he pitched well for Anaheim in his last stop. Actually pitched really well for them his last outing, threw three shutout innings and struck out four in their sixteen inning game. He’s out of options and they needed bullpen reinforcement, so they put him on waivers and we picked him up.”
In his four appearances with the Angels, Mejía allowed one run on four hits with a walk and six strikeouts in 4.1 innings.
“He’s got a pretty big arm,” Girsch added. “As a bullpen guy, he’s been touching 95 fairly consistently. He’s got a slider, a curveball, and a changeup. We think he can simplify that a little bit out of the bullpen, focus more on the curveball, perhaps. It’s an opportunity to just again add depth to the left-handed side of the bullpen for now as we continue to see if we can do something else.”
Designated for assignment five days ago by the Angels, Adalberto Mejía was in the Dominican and is now making his way to St. Louis.
Infielder Jedd Gyorko, who was transferred to the 60-day IL to make room on the 40-man roster for Mejía, had his rehab assignment to Memphis Adelayed.
“At one point we had him scheduled to start today,” Girsch acknowledged. “We pushed it back til tomorrow so the staff could work with him one more day before he goes out, but our intent is to have him go out tomorrow. The 60-day transaction really doesn’t change his timing at all.”
When asked if Gyorko could be part of a potential trade, Girsch declined to comment on any specific player.
Having already participated in batting practice and other baseball activities the last few days, Gyorko shared he feels great and is waiting for the next directive from the team.
The addition of Mejía was preceded by the Cardinals acquiring lefty Zac Rosscup from the Los Angeles Dodgers for cash considerations on Monday.
“These are two moves that we know we can make now,” Girsch said. “They don’t in anyway affect whether we make a move in the next 24 hours. If we can make a move to land someone that we’re excited about we will, regardless of what we’ve done with these two players. But at the same time, we didn’t want to pass up on these opportunities and then get to the trade deadline and have done nothing. Just a way to add some depth to the left side.”
“He’s been a very effective pitcher when he’s been in the minor leagues,” Girsch said. “He’s been DFA’d and outrighted a few times. He’s got swing and miss stuff. Like a lot of these guys, his challenge is throwing strikes. It’s an opportunity to send him to Memphis and see if we can help him out at all, see if we can get him throwing strikes and he can pitch his way on to the big league roster at some point.”
As for what the Cardinals may be able to accomplish before tomorrow’s 3pm CT trade deadline, Girsch remains upbeat.
“Over the course of today, I’ve been optimistic at times that we are making progress and then sometimes the next phone call or message is less optimistic,” Girsch said. “I’m somewhat optimistic that the market hasn’t opened up yet, like the industry hasn’t found the right sales price for all the stuff that’s out there. I’m hopeful that at some point we can find that right price and make the moves we want to make, but it’s hard to be optimistic at every moment of the day because it varies every conversation.”
photo credit: Brian Stull/STLBaseballWeekly.com, Bill Greenblatt/UPI