The Cardinals have designated right-hander Mike Mayers for assignment, tweets Mark Saxon of the Athletic. The club has since announced the move. Additionally, infielder Matt Carpenter has been activated from the 10-day injured list, pitching prospect Ryan Helsley has been recalled, while corner infielder Rangel Ravelo was optioned to Triple-A Memphis.
Mayers, 27, was out of options, so St. Louis had to keep him on the 25-man roster or cut bait. Ultimately, Mayers’ continued big league struggles did him in. He’s logged 13.2 innings in 12 appearances since coming off the 60-day injured list over a month ago, but his numbers were ghastly. Mayers coughed up 11 runs in that time, including two longballs, with matching strikeout and walk totals (10 apiece). That continued a rough MLB go for Mayers, who has a 7.17 ERA in 69 career games.
Mayers has some interesting raw material to work with, though. Per Statcast, his fastball and curveball each have above-average spin, and he’s generally performed well in Triple-A. A contender like St. Louis could no longer afford to keep giving MLB opportunities to an underperforming arm, but perhaps another organization with a less urgent competitive cycle will give a crack at straightening Mayers out. Any claiming team would have to keep Mayers on the 25-man roster or again expose him to waivers.
Carpenter returns from a three-week stint on the shelf with a right foot contusion. His underwhelming .215/.321/.373 line has been a surprising sore spot for an offense that looks stronger on paper than it has played to this point.
With Carpenter back and Mayers gone, the club swaps out the rookie position player (Ravelo) for a rookie arm (Helsley). Helsely’s mid-90’s fastball will return to the bullpen, while Ravelo will look to continue to build on a strong Triple-A body of work.