Cardinals Add Four Players to 40-Man Roster

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have selected the contracts of left-hander pitcher Genesis Cabrera, right-handed pitcher Ryan Helsley, outfielder Lane Thomas and infielder Ramón Urías from Memphis (AAA).

The team also announced that they have designated for assignment right-handed pitchers Conner Greene and Derian Gonzalez. Today’s transactions currently place the team’s 40-man Major League roster at 40 players.

Cabrera, a native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, was acquired by the Cardinals in a July trade from Tampa Bay in exchange for outfielder Tommy Pham. Last season, the left-hander went a combined 8-9 with a 4.17 ERA (140.1 IP) and 148 strikeouts in 27 games (25 starts) between Montgomery (AA), Springfield (AA) and Memphis (AAA).

The 6-1, 170-pound Cabrera pitched in four relief outings for the Redbirds in the postseason, hurling scoreless outings in the PCL Championship game (2.2 IP) and Triple-A title game (1.1 IP). Cabrera was originally signed by Tampa Bay as a non-drafted free-agent on November 11, 2013 and was recognized as a 2018 Southern League Mid-Season All-Star with Montgomery before being acquired by St. Louis.

Helsley, the Cardinals 5th round pick out of Northeastern State (Okla.) in 2015, appeared in 13 games with three clubs during the 2018 season making stops in Springfield (AA), Memphis (AAA) and the GCL Cardinals while recovering from shoulder fatigue. 

He posted a 5-3 record with a 3.97 ERA and struck out 82 batters in 70.1 innings for a 10.5 strikeout/9 IP ratio. The 2017 Florida State League Most Valuable Pitcher struck out a season-high 10 batters twice, once in Springfield and once in Memphis, giving him five double-digit strikeout games in 62 career minor league starts. Helsley was a non-roster invitee to the Cardinals Major League Spring Training camp in 2018.

Thomas was acquired by the Cardinals in July 2017 from Toronto in exchange for international cap space. The right-handed hitting center fielder batted a combined .264 (136-515) with 27 home runs, six triples, 23 doubles, and 88 RBI in 132 games between Springfield (AA) and Memphis (AAA) in 2018.

He led the Cardinals organization in home runs (T12th-most in Minor League baseball) and RBI, co-led in runs scored (84) and finished fifth in stolen bases (17). Thomas recently completed a 20-game stint with Surprise in the prospect-laden Arizona Fall League, where he hit .262 (16-61) with one home run, one double, 10 RBI and eight stolen bases.

Recognized as a 2018 Texas League Mid-Season and Post-Season All-Star for Springfield (AA) and promoted to Memphis mid-season, the 6-1, 170-pound Thomas culminated his season by going 3-for-5 with a home run, triple and five RBI in the Triple-A Championship game. Thomas was originally selected by the Blue Jays in the 5th round of the June 2014, First-Year Player Draft out of Bearden High School in Knoxville, Tenn.  

Urías played in 90 games between Springfield (AA) and Memphis (AAA) in his second professional season in Minor League Baseball and first in the Cardinals organization. He made starts at every infield position with his most at second base (48 starts). 

Urías combined to bat .300 with 13 home runs, 44 RBI and 28 doubles in his 90 games.  He ranked eighth among all Cardinals minor leaguers in batting (min. 300 plate appearances) and his 28 doubles ranked third.

 Prior to joining the Cardinals, Urías played for five years (2013-17) in the Mexican League for the Mexico City Diablo Rojos after two years with the Texas Rangers Dominican Summer League team (2011-12). 

The utility infielder was a Mexican League All-Star in 2017 and helped lead Mexico City to a league championship in 2014, adding to those accolades by helping Memphis to the Triple-A championship this season.