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Transaction Analysis 7/31 Part 2: Daniel Ponce de Leon Optioned, Adalberto Mejia Activated

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MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Los Angeles Dodgers Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

When the Cardinals acquired LHP Adalberto Mejia on outright assignment waivers yesterday from the Los Angeles Angels, the club cleared a 40-man roster spot by transferring Jedd Gyorko from the 10-day to the 60-day IL. Mejia did not, however, have the time to report right away, and thus the Cardinals did not make a corresponding 25-man roster move before last night’s game against the Cubs.

Mejia has now reported to the team, and in an interesting development, to make room for Mejia on the active roster, the Cards have decided to option RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon to AAA Memphis.

Since being recalled to the Cardinals on June 25th, he won another spin in the rotation with 3 appearances out of the bullpen, over the last 2 of which he threw 4.2 IP with only 1 hit allowed, 1 walk and 6 strikeouts. His 4 starts since then have been a different story, especially the last 3, where only pitched 9 innings total over the 3 starts, allowing 14 hits, 10 earned runs, to go along with 10 walks to only 6 strikeouts.

With the Cardinals’ decision to put Wacha back in the rotation, they apparently decided to stop ping-ponging Ponce de Leon back and forth from the bullpen to the rotation and back. While Ponce de Leon basically performed well in the bullpen for the Cards this year, one can argue that it’s the best thing for him to see if he can work out his issues as a starter in Memphis on a regular schedule, especially if they project him as a starter long-term.

While I had thought Tyler Webb might be optioned, the Cards were apparently serious when they said they want more left-handed pitching, and when you combine that desire with wanting Ponce de Leon to sort out his control issues in Memphis, the confluence of factors led to the decision.

BULLPEN AVAILABLE TONIGHT

Brebbia (R), Gallegos (R), Gant (R), C. Martinez (R), Mayers (R), Mejia (L), Miller (L), Webb (L)