Another Revolution of the Memphis Revolving Door

Today the Cardinals optioned Randal Grichuk back to AAA Memphis, and purchased the contract of outfielder Joey Butler from Memphis.  The Cardinals claimed Butler off waivers from the Texas Rangers on October 3, 2013 and he was placed on the 40 man roster (all waiver claims must be immediately placed on the claiming team’s 40 man roster).  On March 23, 2014, Butler was optioned to Memphis.    Four days later,  on March 27, 2014, Butler was removed from the 40 man roster by outright assignment in order to make room for Pat Neshek.  Today’s move restores Butler to his 4o man roster spot.

Butler has played both right field and left field in Memphis.  He batted .378 at Memphis, with a .500 OBP and a SLG of .573.  Butler has hit 4 HRs in Memphis.  He has a K% of  15.7% and a BB % of 18.6%.  Most likely Butler will be used primarily as a pinch hitter and possibly a late innings corner outfield replacement.  If  Butler can translate his numbers to the big leagues, the addition could add significant power and thump to the bench.

Grichuk, who played all outfield positions, was batting .143 in 22 PAs in his short stint with the Cardinals.  Grichuk had 3 hits— a single, a double, and a triple, but no HRs.  He also had 7 Ks, which translated to a K% of 32%.

Butler’s restoration to the 40 man roster means that if the Cardinals intend to keep Butler for the forseeable future, they will have to keep him on the roster.  A player can only be sent on outright assignment once in his career without his consent.  Butler’s outright assignment on March 27 means if he is outrighted again, he can elect free agency.  It is quite possible that the Cardinals do not see Butler as having a future with the organization so the move may signal that Butler’s career with the Cardinals will be of short duration.

Meanwhile, Kolten Wong, who was optioned to Memphis on April 28, remains there.  The required 10 day period for Wong to stay in Memphis has passed, so hopefully he will be returning to the Cardinals, perhaps when the team returns home on Monday.  Greg Garcia, who was called up with Grichuk, remains with the team.

Stay tuned for more revolutions of the Memphis revolving door.


Thank you for reading.


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  1. Jerry Modene

     /  May 9, 2014

    A couple of moves that may or may not happen (not counting Wong, who I still think will be back by June):

    Aardsma’s opt-out date is next Thursday. With Motte due back soon (with, presumably, Fornataro going down), the Cards may not see a need to call him up, although he has done quite well – although with Maness still struggling to get his sinker to sink, one might think Maness back to Memphis for a while and Aardsma up for the time being might be a logical move.

    The other thing is what I posted on the forum: June 2 (right about the time Super Two ceases to be an issue) is when interleague play, with two games at home vs KC followed by a seven-game road trip to KC, Toronto and Tampa Bay. I could see the Cards calling up Tavares at that time, since they’d be able to guarantee him a week’s worth of everyday play in RF (with Craig or Adams handling DH duties) and show what he’s got. Whether he would stay up beyond that would depend on how well he does.

    Meanwhile, Butler coming up as a bench type makes sense; Grichuk, for all his promise, is still a little raw to be a guy who you can count on off the bench. I liked what we saw of him, but he’s still a work in progress.


    • I don’t know the master plan. I only know that the prospect of Taveras playing in CF may be enough for me to accept the DH in the NL (and you know how much of an abomination I think the DH is). I watched him play CF last night and I swear he’s gotten worse. Shane Robinson was running all over left center field to catch balls that should have been easy gets for Oscar, but he made little attempt. Maybe that’s why Shane is playing DH tonight, he’s probably exhausted. Then there was the lazy play on a ground ball to CF, where he jogged to pick it up while a runner was racing from 2nd to score and Oscar just picked it up and watched the runner score, and then lobbed the ball in. It was pretty pathetic.

      I hope Wong comes back before June. He should be back now.



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