The Cardinals announced Thursday that they’ve claimed lefty Bernardo Flores Jr. off waivers from the White Sox. He’s been optioned to the Cards’ alternate training site. The waiver claim fills the Cardinals’ 40-man roster.
Flores, 24, was Chicago’s seventh-round pick back in 2016 and made his big league debut this past season, tossing two innings and yielding a pair of runs. He’d have spent the 2020 season at the Triple-A level had there been a minor league season, but his top level aside from that brief two-inning cup of coffee in the big leagues has been Double-A. The southpaw has posted strong numbers in parts of two Double-A campaigns, working to a combined 3.04 ERA with an outstanding 4.6 percent walk rate and a 52 percent grounder rate — albeit with a below-average 18.8 percent strikeout rate.
Flores will give the Cardinals some depth both in the rotation and the bullpen. He has a pair of minor league options remaining, so he can be shuttled between Triple-A (or the Cards’ alternate site) and the big leagues over the next two seasons if he sticks on the 40-man roster.