The Cardinals are planning to select reliever Brandon Dickson to the big league roster, manager Mike Shildt tells reporters (including Jeff Jones of the Belleville News-Democrat). Active rosters will expand from 26 to 28 tomorrow, but St. Louis will need to make a 40-man roster move to accommodate Dickson’s official promotion.
It’s the culmination of one of the most remarkable journeys in recent memory. Dickson was a starting pitcher early in his career, and he reached the majors with St. Louis in 2011. He made eight big league appearances between the next two seasons, allowing ten runs in 14 2/3 innings. After the 2012 campaign, the Cardinals released Dickson so he could pursue an opportunity with the Orix Buffaloes of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball.
Dickson would spend the next eight seasons in NPB. After beginning his time with the Buffaloes as a starter, the right-hander was eventually transitioned into the closer’s role. Between 2019-20, Dickson pitched to a 3.15 ERA and returned to the U.S. this winter. He signed a minor league deal with the Cardinals in mid-June and earned a spot on the U.S. national team’s Olympic roster.
St. Louis assigned Dickson to Triple-A Memphis, where he’s made eleven appearances. He’s struggled in that hitter-friendly environment, serving up thirteen runs (eleven earned) over 10 1/3 frames. Nevertheless, the 36-year-old has sufficiently impressed St. Louis brass with his current form to earn his first big league look in nearly a decade.