Conley, Two Others Move Up in Cards Minors

Conley first joined Quad Cities in 2009

With good power but low batting average, outfielder Kyle Conley has been promoted to the Palm Beach Cardinals of the Florida State League.

On Wednesday, the St. Louis Cardinals made a quartet of moves that each affect their Class A Midwest League club, the Quad Cities River Bandits.

The most notable promotion is likely intended to help shore up the Florida State League-worst offense of the Palm Beach Cardinals. The A-Advanced club is last in the 12-team league in runs scored, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging.

Conley
Outfielder Kyle Conley has been moved up to Palm Beach from Quad Cities and is expected to be activated in Florida on Friday. Conley, who will turn 24 years of age on Saturday, missed most of 2010 due to a wrist injury.

This season, Conley has shown power, but not batting average. In 20 games for the Bandits, his line is .221/.293/.426. Seven of the right-handed batter's hits have been for extra bases. Conley had three home runs and seven RBI in 68 MWL at-bats. He fanned one-third of the time with 23 strikeouts. Conley was selected by the Cardinals in the seventh round of the 2009 draft from the University of Washington.

The other player leaving Quad Cities is right-handed pitcher Andrew Moss, who has been unconditionally released from the organization. The 24-year-old right-hander went 2-0 with a 5.79 ERA for the Bandits this season. Moss struck out 12 and walked four in 14 innings. He was the Cardinals' 35th-round draft pick in 2009 from Lincoln (MO) University.

The two have been replaced by a pair of players called up from Extended Spring Training to the Bandits. They are infielder Starlin Rodriguez and left-handed pitcher Ryan Copeland.

Rodriguez
Rodriguez began the 2011 season on the disabled list of the River Bandits but effectively remained behind in Extended Spring Training. The 21-year-old native of the Dominican Republic sat out due to a thumb injury.

Signed during the 2009-10 off-season, Rodriguez spent almost all of 2010 with the Gulf Coast League Cardinals, where the switch-hitter posted a .285/.357/.377 line and was 14-for-19 in stolen base attempts. He joined Johnson City at the tail end of last season, appearing in just two Appalachian League contests.

Copeland was not only an Appalachian League All-Star for Johnson City last year, he was named the league's Pitcher of the Year. The 22-year-old tied for second in the league with seven wins.

Copeland also ranked in the top 10 of Cardinals minor leaguers in ERA (third, 1.86) opponents batting average (fifth, .202), strikeouts per nine innings (eighth, 8.1), strikeout to walk ratio (second, 6.86), toughest to hit a home run against (tenth, 68.0/1) and WHIP (second, 0.86). He was the Cardinals' 32nd-round selection in last June's draft from Illinois State.

The corresponding roster move by Palm Beach to accommodate Conley may not be announced until Friday.



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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