The Cardinals announced Tuesday that they’ve selected the contract of righty Junior Fernandez from Triple-A Memphis and designated left-hander Adalberto Mejia for assignment in order to open a spot on the 40-man and 25-man rosters. St. Louis also announced that right-hander Mike Mayers cleared waivers and has been assigned outright to Memphis.
Mejia, 26, was claimed by the Cardinals just last week and made only three appearances before being cut loose by his third team this season. He allowed three runs on eight hits and a walk with two strikeouts over three innings in his short-lived St. Louis stint.
A former top 100 prospect who profiled as a fourth starter, Mejia never established himself with the Twins and has now bounced from Minnesota to Anaheim to St. Louis this season. He’s posted a 7.54 ERA in 22 2/3 innings, though he’s only a season removed from solid numbers as a starter with Minnesota’s Triple-A affiliate a season ago. Mejia, though, is out of minor league options, so any club to claim him would need to allow him to try to sort things out at the MLB level, as he can’t be sent down without first clearing waivers. He’s missed time due to blister, wrist, biceps and calf injuries dating back to 2017, so durability could be an issue as well.
As for the 22-year-old Fernandez, he’s soared through three minor league levels in 2019, posting an ERA of 1.55 or better at each stop. In all, he’s totaled 61 1/3 innings with a 1.47 ERA, 11.2 K/9, 4.3 BB/9 and, incredibly, no home runs allowed. He’s unlikely to have that type of success in limiting long balls in the Majors — particularly given the apparent changes to the ball in 2019 — but he’ll nonetheless give the Cards an intriguing jolt of youth in their relief corps.