The St. Louis Cardinals announced roster moves on Tuesday morning as the club optioned pitcher Tyler Lyons and infielder Greg Garcia to the Memphis Redbirds (AAA).
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The Cardinals also re-assigned two non-roster invitees to their Minor League camp. Catcher Carson Kelly, a 2013 second round draft selection, has re-assigned to the Palm Beach Cardinals (A+) while infielder Breyvic Valera has been re-assigned to the Memphis Redbirds.
The left-handed Lyons appeared in 3 games this spring for the Cardinals. In five innings pitched, he allowed seven runs on nine hits while walking two and striking out four batters. With a 12.60 ERA this spring, it’s easy to conclude as to why Lyons was optioned to Memphis. He appeared in 11 games last season for the Cardinals where he posted an 0-4 record with a 4.42 ERA.
Garcia’s chances of making the Opening Day roster grew slimmer each day with Pete Kozma’s ability to play all over the place and his hitting .400 in the spring. With 13 at-bats and 15 overall plate appearances over the course of ten games, Garcia had a batting line of .308/.400/.385 this spring. A college teammate of Kolten Wong, Garcia made his debut during the 2014 season. With 14 at-bats and 18 overall plate appearances, Garcia had a batting line of .143/.333/.214 last year.
As far as Kelly and Velera go, they may have been invited to the Major League camp but finding a spot on the roster was never going to happen. Not this spring anyway. Kelly, I believe, is being groomed to eventually replace Yadier Molina as the Cardinals catcher.
The 40-man roster now sits on 36 players while there are 48 players remaining in the Cardinals’ Major League camp.