Suddenly that video from last week in which Cardinals teammates unsuccessfully tried to spell Marc Rzepczynski’s name isn’t so funny.
St. Louis has demoted Rzepczynski to Triple-A following a rough start to the season that included the left-hander allowing seven runs on 13 hits in eight innings.
Rzepczynski hasn’t been in the minors since 2010 and at age 27 heads there now with a 4.17 ERA in 242 innings spread over 175 appearances. He was acquired from the Blue Jays in mid-2011, but was inconsistent enough last season that the Cardinals signed Randy Choate to serve as their primary left-handed specialist.
The Pirates are officially shutting down Chris Archer for the season, GM Neal Huntington revealed Sunday. It’s more of a formality than anything else, but, as the Pirates are currently out of postseason contention, there seems to be no point in forcing the right-hander to accelerate his recovery from right shoulder inflammation.
Archer, 30, sustained the injury in late August and was initially projected to return sometime during September. He’s been throwing from flat ground over the last several weeks, but there had been no indication that he was ready to resume starting duties for the club. He’ll end his 2019 run with a 3-9 record in 23 starts and a 5.19 ERA, 4.1 BB/9, 10.8 SO/9, and 0.7 fWAR across 119 2/3 innings pitched; not his worst performance to date, but a considerable step down from the sub-5.00 ERA and 2.6 fWAR he posted with the Rays and Pirates in 2018.
With two weeks left in the regular season, the Pirates will soon wrap up their fourth consecutive non-contending campaign. Following Saturday’s brutal 14-1 loss to the Cubs, they were mathematically eliminated from postseason qualification. They last reached the playoffs in 2015, though it’s been six years since they advanced past the wild card tiebreaker and 27 years since they advanced past the Division Series.