St. Louis Cardinals: Memphis gains Jayson Aquino
The first set of “cuts” were made in the St. Louis Cardinals’ spring yesterday. In baseball, these spring cuts are reassignments to minor league camp and/or directly to a minor league team. Included in yesterday’s assignments was the sending of Jayson Aquino to Memphis.
Jayson Aquino, a left handed pitcher the St. Louis Cardinals claimed off of waivers from Cleveland in December of 2015, was assigned directly to Memphis during yesterday’s first transactions of spring. Aquino came to the Cardinals after providing service to Cleveland, Toronto, and Pittsburgh. At the time of his claim-off-waivers, Aquino was predicted to start 2016 with Springfield.
Aquino, a 6’1″ lefty, is just 23 years old and has six seasons of minor league work to his name. In these six seasons, he has appeared in 99 games amassing 591 innings pitched. In these appearances, he holds a minor league career 2.94 ERA.
His assignment to Memphis is a touch interesting. This assignment must indicate that the organization sees promise in this pitcher potentially despite his performance this spring (more on this below).
GM Mozeliak was cited as noting Aquino as adding flexibility to the organization as he could develop as either bullpen depth or starter material. Perhaps the best place for this development is with Memphis.
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In spring this year, Aquino appeared in one game (March 11) and is credited with a blown save and then also the win all within one inning. In this one inning, Aquino surrendered three hits, two earned runs, and one home run. This performance inflated his ERA in spring to a massive 6.00. Is this the making of a great pitcher? As is stated above, the organization must see something promising in his delivery or his repertoire to send him to Memphis over other levels.
What does this mean for other Memphis pen pitchers? It is tough to say at this time but I would bet that the addition of Aquino- a young arm- might spell the end of the road for some older pitchers on the Memphis squad. Let us all hope that Aquino flourishes at Memphis and grows to supply support in 2017 and beyond as I doubt 2016 will be his MLB debut year.
Next: Hidden value in Sam Tuivailala
As spring progresses, I get more and more excited about who will be reassigned to the minor camp and who will break camp with Memphis. I will keep you posted as more players join the Redbirds squad.