The organization of the St. Louis Cardinals has sent Juan Carlos Sulbaran down to AA Springfield (Texas League) from AAA Memphis. The 26-year old right hander from Curacao had a dream start at AAA with Memphis as he won his first two games with a low ERA.
But from that point he started to struggle and eventually finished his stint at AAA (for the time being) with a 2-6 record and a 7.69 ERA.
On May 23 and May 28 he had his two worst outings with the Memphis Redbirds. On May 23 Juan Carlos lasted just two innings in which he gave up ten runs on thirteen hits. In his next start he lasted a bit longer, 3.2 innings, and gave up ten runs on nine hits.
On June 2, Juan Carlos had a decent outing. In six innings he kept the New Orleans Zephyrs limited to only three hits as he walked one and struck out six. But that wasn’t enough for the Cardinals to convince them as they sent him down to AA the next day.
Since he struggled a lot and gave up so many runs, I feared that the Cardinals would lose their patience and release him, but apparently eventually they are willing to give him another shot at AA.
On June 8, Juan Carlos had his first outing with the Springfield Cardinals vs the Arkansas Travelers. But this time Juan Carlos was not used as a starting pitcher. He took the mound in the eighth inning. In one inning he gave up two runs as he gave up a single to Caleb Adams and a homerun to Eric Aguilera. The Travelers had secured the win in the first inning as they scored four runs, so Sulbaran was not tabbed with the loss.
It remains to be seen if Juan Carlos can settle down. Sure it is just one start, but with the Cardinals using him as a reliever in his first appearance at AA it may very well indicate that they have given up on him as a starter.