Initially the Cardinals were going to keep their Triple-A team together for the Pacific Coast League playoffs, but with first baseman Matt Adams slumping they’ve decided to call up Memphis first baseman Xavier Scruggs.
Scruggs will be making his big-league debut at age 26 after hitting .286 with 21 homers and an .864 OPS in 135 games at Triple-A. He has similarly good but not great numbers in past seasons and he’s too old to really be considered a prospect, but Scruggs has done particularly well versus left-handed pitching and could be used in a platoon with the left-handed-hitting Adams.
Scruggs, a right-handed hitter, batted .350 with a 1.088 OPS off lefties at Triple-A. By comparison Adams has hit just .213 off lefties in three seasons for the Cardinals.
According to MLB.com associate reporter Jarrid Denney, right-hander Michael Pineda threw off a mound Wednesday morning at Target Field for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Pineda was signed to a two-year, $10 million free agent contract this winter by the Twins, who are probably more focused on what he might be able to do in 2019 rather than 2018.
He had the reconstructive elbow surgery last July 18, so he won’t be an option for the Minnesota rotation until probably late August or September of this year. Still, that deal seems like a nice gamble given the price point and the possibility that he will regain his form as a No. 2 or No. 3 starter. That he’s making steady progress in his rehab makes the situation all the more encouraging.
Pineda, 29, holds a 4.05 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and 687 strikeouts in 680 career major league innings.