Leone and the Cardinals reached agreement on a one-year contract Friday, avoiding arbitration, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports. The terms of the deal are not yet public. Leone had some buzz last spring as a potential closer for the Cardinals but instead ended up with an injury-plagued season in which he posted a 4.50 ERA in 24 innings and did not record a single save.
Leone has fired two perfect innings across two appearances since returning from the 60-day disabled list on Aug. 26. The right-hander missed nearly four months with nerve damage in his right biceps, but he built his strength back up with 10 rehab appearances for Triple-A Memphis. The extra conditioning time seems to have worked like a charm, as Leone has mowed through the Rockies (Sunday) and Pirates (Wednesday) during his pair of outings on just 20 pitches overall. The 26-year-old should progressively see more work during September as a valued later-inning option for manager Mike Shildt.
Leone (biceps) was activated off the 60-day disabled list Sunday. Leone has been on the disabled list since early May as he's dealt with nerve damage in his right upper arm. The 26-year-old made 10 rehab appearances with Triple-A Memphis and showed no issues throwing upwards of 20 pitches. Mike Mayers (shoulder) moves to the disabled list in a corresponding move.
Leone (biceps) was credited with the victory in Triple-A Memphis' win over Oklahoma City on Thursday, firing a scoreless inning in which he allowed a hit. Leone threw 12 pitches overall in what was his fourth rehab appearance, and his previously injured throwing arm seems to be holding up well. Given that he's now worked four innings overall with the Redbirds, Leone could be ready for activation at some point next week, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports.
Leone (biceps) fired a scoreless sixth inning in Triple-A Memphis' loss to Fresno on Saturday, allowing a hit and a walk over 19 pitches. The right-hander has put together back-to-back impressive outings with the Redbirds, and even some minor control issues Saturday worked in his favor to an extent by affording him additional work. Leone has now fired 19 pitches in each of his two minor-league appearances, but he's likely to still log additional time with Memphis before being considered for activation.