The Cardinals have sent reliever James Naile outright to Triple-A Memphis after he went unclaimed on waivers, the club informed reporters (including Jeff Jones of the Belleville News-Democrat). Having never previously been outrighted and yet to reach three years of MLB service time, Naile doesn’t have the right to reject the assignment. He’ll stick in the organization without holding a 40-man spot and be in big league camp as a non-roster invitee.
Naile debuted in the majors last summer a little shy of his 30th birthday. He made it into seven big league games, throwing nine innings of five-run ball. The righty struck out five, issued a pair of walks and averaged 91.7 MPH on his sinker. The 2022 campaign was his first in the St. Louis organization after parts of seven seasons in the Oakland system. The former 20th-round pick spent the majority of the season with Memphis.
He had a nice showing there, working 73 1/3 innings through 44 appearances. Naile posted a 3.31 ERA while inducing grounders on a very strong 53.4% of batted balls he allowed. He had a fairly modest 20.2% strikeout percentage but only issued walks at a 6.6% clip. That earned him his first big league work, but he lost his spot on the 40-man roster when the club acquired Anthony Misiewicz from the Royals a few days ago.
A UAB product, Naile figures to open the upcoming season back in Memphis. The Cardinals’ front office has given plenty of opportunity to various ground-ball specialists given the strength of their infield defense, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if he works his way back to the bigs at some point.
They hammered this poor kid.
I saw that one coming.
If some team only has a hammer, everyone starts to look like a Naile.
Naile d it!
I saw him make his debut in St. Louis. Really hope he is successful even though I have doubt
I hope this isn’t the final Naile in his coffin.
He couldn’t have debuted shortly before his 30th, he was just DFAed on his bday
Yes, last season. DFAd on his birthday.
I’d like to see this Missouri native pitch his way back to the Cardinals roster.