Following Sunday’s game, the St. Louis Cardinals announced that right-handed pitcher Keith Butler and infielder Ryan Jackson have been optioned to the roster of Triple-A Memphis. Non-roster left-handed pitcher John Gast has also been re-assigned to minor league camp.
Butler, 24, finished Sunday’s fourth inning for Lance Lynn, collecting the final out. The right-hander leaves with a spring ERA of 13.50, having allowed three earned runs in six innings of work. Butler fanned five and walked no one. Opposing batters hit .368 against him.
Even though there was playing time opportunity at the middle infield, Jackson was not a serious contender. The 24-year-old returns for a second season at Triple-A after collecting just three hits in 22 at-bats (.136) this spring. He struck out six times, grounded into three double plays and drew one walk. Jackson is the only one of the three to have MLB experience after being called up late last season, when he played sparingly.
In his final spring outing on Sunday, Gast allowed one run in one inning of work. The 24-year-old finished the spring with a 7.50 ERA (five ER in seven IP) in his third major league camp. Gast struck out three and walked three. Opposing hitters managed a .346 average against him.
After the moves, the Cardinals now have 40 players assigned to major league camp – 31 members of the 40-man roster and nine non-roster invitees. 17 are pitchers with 23 position players. Two of the 40 remain temporarily away for the World Baseball Classic; Carlos Beltran (Puerto Rico) and Yadier Molina (Puerto Rico).
Butler, Jackson and Gast will join over 160 peers currently participating in minor league camp. (link to roster details for subscribers)
To see the Cardinals entire 40-man roster and the non-roster spring training invitees, check out the Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation blog.
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Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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