This is not breaking news by any stretch of the imagination, but I wanted to address some of the Cardinal minor league releases this week since some of them were of a higher profile.
OF Tyler Henley – Henley was struggling this season as a 26 year old in Springfield after losing the end of last season to an injury after struggling in Memphis and having success in Springfield. He was too old for his league and OPS’ing .607 after 54 plate appearances this season. Kary Booher has the dish.
In Henley’s case, the outfielder has not been the same player since undergoing elbow ligament replacement surgery last summer.
He is the first victim of the outfield crunch in Springfield and Memphis. This one is sad because by all accounts Henley (and his wife) are good people, but they have their house in order and will land on their feet.
LHP Ryan Kulik – As for Kulik, Booher makes an interesting point.
In Kulik’s case, Warner noted the lefty had lost considerable command of his pitches – an issue that developed after his return last summer following a brief stint in Triple-A Memphis.
Kulik’s 2010 in Springfield – 52 Ks and 29 walks. Kulik’s 2010 in Memphis – 17 Ks and 29 walks. So far in 2011 6 Ks and 8 walks. Kulik threw 45% balls in Memphis and got only 6% swinging strikes.
OF Ryde Rodriguez – Easy Ryder returned to Palm Beach after ending 2010 there after his best season in Quad Cities. Over 2 seasons in Palm Beach, he had a OPS around .600 and was hitting over 60% of his balls in play into the ground.
IF Matt Valaika – Matt was still in Extended Spring after a .504 OPS in Batavia from the middle infielder. As with Henley and Kulik, his age was working against him as he turned 23 in April.
RHP Andrew Moss – Moss is a stranger case without knowing the full story as he had a reputable 4.20 FIP in Quad Cities so far this season with 12 strikeouts to 4 walks and he had 68 strikeouts to 23 walks last season in Batavia. He was a 24 year old in low A, so his margin for error was not huge, but seems like he could have stuck around as an organizational arm.