ST. LOUIS -- While the Cardinals' flurry of Trade Deadline activity was extensively evaluated for the impact it could have on the Major League product, the moves also quietly enhanced the organization's Minor League system.Five of the players the Cardinals acquired in their four trades moved into the club's Top
ST. LOUIS -- While the Cardinals' flurry of Trade Deadline activity was extensively evaluated for the impact it could have on the Major League product, the moves also quietly enhanced the organization's Minor League system.
Five of the players the Cardinals acquired in their four trades moved into the club's Top 30 Prospects list, compiled by MLB Pipeline. Outfielders Justin Williams (No. 9) and Conner Capel (No. 10) rank the highest. Also denting the list are Genesis Cabrera (No. 14), Seth Elledge (No. 22) and Giovanny Gallegos (No. 23).
The Cardinals now have six outfielders among their top 18 prospects. Tyler O'Neill, the club's No. 2 prospect, should graduate from the list soon.
MLB Pipleline also recently released its refreshed midseason Top 100 rankings, and two Cardinals -- Alex Reyes (No. 34) and O'Neill (48) -- made that cut.
Used primarily in relief by the Cardinals this season, Austin Gomber will now get an extended look as a starter as he slides into the club's open rotation spot. The Cards needed to add another starter to the mix after Carlos Martinez went on the disabled list, and using Gomber will give the team a left-handed look in an otherwise all-righty rotation. He'll start Saturday in Pittsburgh.
"Pitching is pitching, but obviously I'm definitely excited to be in the rotation, definitely excited about the opportunity," Gomber said. "It kind of [stinks], because obviously we're a better team when Carlos is healthy. Nobody wants to see him get hurt, but I'm just going to try and do what I can do to replace him to the best of my ability."
Gomber, who has appeared in relief 17 times this year, made his first big league start on July 24 and carried a no-hitter through 6 1/3 innings. He finished with two runs allowed on a pair of hits. Gomber has a 3.22 ERA and used a 14-pitch appearance out of the 'pen on Wednesday as a tune-up for his outing on Saturday.
Second baseman Kolten Wong joined Class A Peoria for a one-day rehab stint on Thursday. Wong is scripted to play seven innings before flying to Pittsburgh to join the Cardinals. Wong, who has been sidelined by left knee inflammation since July 22, could be activated from the DL as early as Friday.
Adam Wainwright (right elbow inflammation) and Martinez (right shoulder strain) plan to join the club midway through its upcoming road trip as they progress through their respective rehab programs. Wainwright through a high-intensity bullpen session on Wednesday, and he plans to do so again over the weekend. He will then check in with the Major League staff and medical team before beginning a Minor League rehab assignment.
Dominic Leone (upper arm nerve irritation) began a rehab assignment on Wednesday with a scoreless inning for Triple-A Memphis. He struck out two.
• The Cardinals will get a close-up look at one of the newest impact players in the National League Central on Friday, when starter Chris Archer makes his debut for the Pirates. St. Louis will counter with John Gant.
• Memphis outfielder Adolis Garcia extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a two-homer night on Wednesday. Garcia has hit seven home runs in the past six games.
• The Cardinals announced the additions of four new Theme Nights to their season schedule. Those include BBQ Night (Aug. 13), Fredbird's Birthday Party (Sept. 2), College Night III (Sept. 24) and Memphis Redbirds Night (Sept. 26).
Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.