Quad Cities River Bandits Remake Infield

Packy Elkins

Three infielders are out and three new ones are in for the St. Louis Cardinals' Class A club. Palm Beach also makes a quartet of Saturday moves.

The St. Louis Cardinals are turning over three roster positions on the Class A Quad Cities River Bandits of the Midwest League. All are infielders.

Three out:

INF Packy Elkins promoted to Palm Beach
INF Yunier Castillo transferred to extended spring training
INF Romulo Ruiz transferred to extended spring training

Three in:

INF Colin Walsh activated from extended spring training
INF Victor Sanchez activated from extended spring training
INF Ronny Gil activated from extended spring training

Elkins, 23, was originally selected in the 37th round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft and joined Johnson City after signing last season. For the Bandits in 2011 in 108 at-bats over 36 games, the left-handed hitter posted a .278/.406/.352 line.

Castillo, a 22-year-old from the Dominican, was a 2010 New York-Penn League All-Star with Batavia. Over his first 31 Midwest League games, 103 at-bats, the right-handed hitter could not get untracked. His line was .194/.263/.252.

Ruiz, a 21-year-old native of Venezuela, joined the Bandits from extended spring training on April 28. Like Elkins, he played for Johnson City in 2010. For Quad Cities, the right-handed hitter struggled mightily, with a line of .119/.226/.167 in 42 at-bats over 13 games.

Walsh
The switch-hitting Walsh, 21, returns to Quad Cities, where he ended the 2010 season. After being selected in the 13th round of the draft from Stanford, he joined Johnson City, then Batavia and finally the Bandits. Across the three levels, his line was .256/.384/.370 in 260 plate appearances over 58 games. Walsh did not make Quad Cities out of spring training and remained behind in EST.

Sanchez began this season with Quad Cities, but was returned to EST on April 28, part of the same transactions when Ruiz arrived. The 22-year-old first baseman posted a line of .163/.288/.209 in his 43 at-bats over 14 Midwest League games. Sanchez had no home runs and three RBI. The right-handed hitter was the Cardinals' 26th round selection last June from the University of San Diego and played with Batavia after signing.

Gil is a 22-year-old switch-hitter from the Dominican formerly known as Grabiel Hernandez. Said to be a strong defender at shortstop, Gil sat out the 2010 season after being suspended for age and identity falsification. This will be his US debut. He batted .308 in the 2009 Dominican Summer League.

Update: Saturday, 5:30 P.M. CDT

Palm Beach announced its corresponding move for the addition of Elkins plus two more.

INF Ronald Ramirez released
RHP Aaron Terry placed on disabled list (backdated to 5/19)
C Luis De La Cruz activated from disabled list

Ramirez, a 25-year-old native of Colombia, was signed by the Cardinals in January as a minor league free agent to provide organizational depth. The right-handed batter did not hit enough, with a line of .211/.239/.226 in 133 at-bats over 35 games.

Most recently, Terry, 24, pitched shutout innings on consecutive days on Wednesday and Thursday. The Cardinals' 42nd-round pick in the 2009 draft has a 1-3 record with two saves and a 4.88 ERA in 16 Florida State League games. His strikeout to walk ratio was an unhealthy 8:11 in 24 innings.

De La Cruz, 22, opened the season on the disabled list after having played for Batavia, Palm Beach and Springfield in 2010. Over his first five minor league seasons, the Dominican native has an aggregate line of .225/.272/.310 in 200 games.



Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Look for his weekly minor league column on Thursdays at FOXSportsMidwest.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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