St Louis Cardinals: Matthew Liberatore leads Team USA into Olympics
While the St Louis Cardinals have struggled, their top prospect had another good start for Team USA as they qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.
It wasn’t a fun series for the St Louis Cardinals against the Cincinnati Reds. The injuries have piled up and are taking their toll, but so is the schedule. The final game against the Reds marked the end of another 17-game stretch that the team has had to trudge through.
While the first 17-game stretch went well, this second one ended with the Cardinals missing both Jack Flaherty and Kwang Hyun Kim to the IL.
Down in AAA, Memphis will be getting back one of their starters, Matthew Liberatore, after he spent the past week playing in the Olympic qualifiers with Team USA.
The lefty started the first game of the qualifiers and pitched well, giving enough for the team to win. On Saturday, Liberatore pitched again for Team USA and the eventual win means the team has officially clinched a trip to Tokyo in the end of July.
Allowing just one run on four hits, Liberatore struck out four. As Derrick Goold mentioned, Liberatore didn’t quite make it through the fifth inning in his start but did enough to quiet the Venezuelan bats.
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Just like the big club, the Memphis Redbirds at AAA are also banged up on the pitching side of the ball and have to deal with their players getting pulled up to the MLB. Getting Liberatore back is going to help them, but the question down the line will be whether or not the Cardinals ever make the call for Liberatore.
Getting to be an Olympian is a gigantic honor that anyone would want to take part in. In order for Liberatore to participate in the games, he would have to not be on the 40-man.
While the 21-year-old Liberatore hasn’t look MLB ready at AAA just yet, you have to wonder if the Cardinals would dare call on him instead of letting him play in Tokyo.
It is a tough situation, but probably one that can be avoided by the Cardinals making a move or two to fill holes at the MLB level. Either way, Liberatore has shown why he’s a top prospect in the Olympic qualifiers so far.