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Tim Cooney to start Thursday for St. Louis Cardinals

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#Looney4Cooney

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals announced on Tuesday that the club will add Tim Cooney to the major-league roster so that the lefthander can start on Thursday in place of ace Adam Wainwright, who suffered a season-ending Achilles tendon injury on Saturday, according to MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch.

Cooney is not presently on the St. Louis 40-man roster. In order to be on the active 25-man roster, a player must be on the 40-man. Reports are not immediately clear the machinations that the Cardinals will put in place to add Cooney to the 40- and 25-man rosters. The most likely course will see the club place Wainwright on the 60-day disabled list which will open a spot on the 40-man roster for Cooney to fill.

The Cardinals selected Cooney out of Wake Forest in the third round of the 2012 June amateur draft. He climbed steadily through the St. Louis organization with his best season coming with Double-A Springfield. Cooney has pitched for Triple-A Memphis in 2014 and 2015. Eric ranked Cooney as the No. 6 Future Redbirds prospect for 2015, and described his repertoire as follows:

If you're looking for elite stuff, you'll not find it here. What you will find is a durable lefty with excellent command, who understands the value of getting ahead in the count (although he struggled with this a bit in 2014), and knows how to keep hitters off balance. Cooney gets a few more swings and misses than one would think given his lack of a true out pitch and a fastball that doesn't really blow anyone away.

The following chart includes Cooney's minor-league stats by level to date.

Cooney Career MiLB Stats (2012-15)

Year

Team

Level

Age

G

GS

IP

LOB%

K%

BB%

ERA

FIP

2012

Batavia

A-

21

13

11

55.2

69.5%

19.6%

2.6%

3.40

3.26

2013

Palm Beach

A+

22

3

3

36.0

69.7%

15.8%

2.7%

2.75

2.74

2013

Springfield

AA

22

10

7

118.1

67.7%

25.2%

3.6%

3.80

2.43

2014

Memphis

AAA

23

26

25

158.0

79.9%

18.0%

7.1%

3.47

4.93

2015

Memphis

AAA

24

3

3

17.1

64.0%

20.3%

7.3%

3.63

4.52

Cooney 2015 MLB Projections

System

G

GS

IP

K/9

BB/9

ERA

FIP

WAR

ZiPS

25

25

149.1

6.33

2.35

4.10

4.15

1.0

Steamer600

32

32

200.0

6.58

2.56

3.88

3.95

2.0

Per Brian Stull of STL Baseball Weekly, manager Mike Matheny's explanation of the Cards' decision to promote Cooney had a bit to do with his spring-training performance:

"Watching how he’s been throwing and also the kind of season he had not just last year, but how he threw in the spring," explained Matheny on the decision. "There were a lot of things–he had a real good spring for us. I tell them too, what you guys do when you get an opportunity to pitch in front of us creates opportunities and I think he’s made the most of it in the spring and is throwing the ball so far this year and we’ll give him a chance to show what he can do at this level."

****

"He was more aggressive," noted Matheny. "A year ago, I thought he was picking a little bit and getting himself into tough counts and then having to find the middle of the plate–typical stuff that you see with a young pitcher feeling he has to be perfect. Really liked how he was going about every outing he had."

The length of Cooney's tenure in the 2015 St. Louis rotation will depend on health—both that of Marco Gonzales, who is presently out with a shoulder issue, and the other members of the big-league staff.