The St. Louis Cardinals announced today their selections for Minor League Players and Pitcher of the Month for July, with Springfield (AA) outfielder Chase Pinder, Peoria (High-A) outfielder Patrick Romeri, and Peoria right-handed starter Inohan Paniagua (ee-NO-hahn panny-AH-gwah) receiving the honors.
Pinder, 26, led all Cardinals minor leaguers with 6 HR and 25 RBI across 20 games for Double-A Springfield. He also ranked in top three in walks (25, 1st), on-base percentage (.489, 2nd), runs (19, T-3rd), and OPS (1.171, 3rd). Pinder reached base safely in 19 of 20 games played and recorded 4 RBI in back-to-back games on two separate occasions (July 4 & 6 and 16-17). He capped off the month with a four-hit performance, falling a triple short of the cycle, on July 31 vs. Frisco.
“Chase delivered an outstanding offensive month, his 1.171 OPS leading Springfield to a 14-10 record,” said Cardinals Director of Player Development Gary LaRocque.
Despite missing nearly all of May and June with an injury, the 2017 7th round draft pick has put up impressive numbers at Springfield this season, slashing .307/.451/.571 with 9 HR, 36 RBI, 32 runs and 38 walks in 42 games. His 1.016 OPS on the season is second among all Cardinals minor leaguers. He is the third Springfield Cardinal to win Player of the Month honors this season, joining former teammates Moisés Gómez (April) and Malcom Nuñez (June).
Romeri, 21, led all Cardinals minor leaguers with a .390 average (23-for-59), and ranked second in slugging percentage (.780) and OPS (1.226) across 17 games for Single-A Palm Beach and one game for Peoria, having been promoted on July 29. He also ranked in the top three in extra-base hits (12, T-1st) and total bases (46, T-3rd). Romeri reached safely in all 15 July starts and recorded a hit in 14 of those contests. The right-handed hitter tied his career-high with four hits and fell a home run short of the cycle on July 8 at Jupiter.
“A well-earned honor for Patrick and, prior to his promotion to Peoria, he helped lead Palm Beach in July with a .400 average and 1.277 OPS,” said LaRocque.
The 6’3”, Sarasota, Fla. native was drafted by the organization in the 12th round of the 2019 MLB draft. Prior to his promotion to Peoria, Romeri slashed .325/.388/.623/1.012 with 5 HR, 15 RBI and 16 runs in 24 games for Palm Beach. He has been limited to just 35 games this season after being slowed in the first half of the season with injuries.
Paniagua, 22, earned his second consecutive award with a 1-0 record, 1.17 ERA (3 ER/23.0 IP), 0.61 WHIP, .132 average against, and 22 strikeouts across three starts with Palm Beach and one for Peoria, earning a promotion on July 26. His stellar month was highlighted by two consecutive scoreless outings: a 7.0 inning, one-hit performance on July 4 at Jupiter, followed by an 8.0 inning, one-hit performance on July 12 vs. Lakeland.
“After being selected as our Minor League Pitcher of the Month in June, Inohan continued his outstanding work in July, earning a promotion to Peoria at the end of the month,” stated LaRocque.
Signed by the Cardinals as an international free agent in December 2017, the Dominican Republic native ranks first among full-season Cardinals minor league pitchers in strikeouts (115), ERA (2.58), second in innings pitched (108.1), average against (.207), and third in WHIP (1.02). He joins RHP Gordon Graceffo (April & May 2022), LHP Bud Smith (July & August 2000) & LHP Rick Ankiel (May & June 1998; April & May 1999) as the only pitchers to win back-to-back Pitcher of the Month honors in the same calendar year.