The Cardinals added some quality minor-league pitching depth as they activated John Gant from the DL.
The St. Louis Cardinals activated righthanded pitcher John Gant from the 10-day disabled list on Tuesday, immediately optioning him to Triple-A Memphis and freeing him up to start Wednesday’s game against the Albuquerque Isotopes.
Gant, who was acquired from the Atlanta Braves this offseason as part of the Jaíme García deal, hadn’t pitched in a competitive game since leaving a March 25 spring training game with a groin injury:
Gant obviously wasn’t fully stretched out for his 2017 debut on Wednesday, as he threw just 60 pitches, allowing one run on three hits and a walk over 3 1/3 innings. Gant struck out four Isotopes hitters in the start. With that said, his return is another big step in the improvement of Memphis’s starting rotation, which has been taking place over the last couple weeks.
Righty Luke Weaver, who was set to be the Redbirds’ No. 1 starter before suffering an injury in his first start, returned earlier this month. While the rotation lost its most consistent starter for an indefinite period last week when Daniel Poncedeleon was hit in the head by a comebacker, the Redbirds received a boost on Sunday when former first-rounder Marco Gonzales completed his return from Tommy John surgery, pitching in his first Triple-A game since 2015.
With most of the relievers at Memphis struggling to begin the season, it’s quite possible that Gant will be the next righthander up on the depth chart behind Sam Tuivailala if the Cardinals need to add another righty to the bullpen. While he’s been developed as a starter, he pitched out of the bullpen in 13 of the 20 games in which he appeared for Atlanta last season. With his bizarre motion, he’d likely be deceptive enough to give hitters fits just like Carter Capps or Jordan Walden if he could get his command straightened out.