Gant was optioned to Triple-A Memphis following Sunday's Grapefruit League start against the Nationals, Joe Trezza of MLB.com reports.
The move was fully expected, as manager Mike Matheny had recently gone on record as stating Gant would start the season with the Redbirds. The decision isn't a reflection on Gant's spring in any way, as he finished with a 1.35 ERA over five appearances. Rather, Matheny sees him as a majors-ready starter, and Memphis' rotation will be able to afford him the innings that will keep him stretched out for an eventual major-league call-up if necessary.
Gant started Sunday's 10-0 Grapefruit League win over the Nationals and fired two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and recording two strikeouts.
The spring ERA came down to a sparkling 1.35 with the outing, which was Gant's first exhibition start. The 25-year-old right hander has caught the eye of manager Mike Matheny, who's remarked that Gant "should be a starter", Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. However, with no open rotation spot at the moment, Gant is slated to begin 2018 at Triple-A Memphis, where he'll have a chance to continue stretching out for the Redbirds and hopefully be prepared for a call-up if the opportunity arises. "He's still fighting, showing what he can do (out of the bullpen)," Matheny said. "But he has plenty of weapons to be a starter, and he's improved a great deal in my mind, to where he should be in that conversation of a guy we go to if we needed help."
Gant (0-1) took the loss Friday, allowing four runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out three over five innings.
Two of the four runs against Gant scored after he was lifted from the game, but still, it wasn't exactly a great performance. Gant ends the season with a 4.67 ERA and 1.56 WHIP over 17.1 innings at the big-league level, and while he had respectable numbers at Triple-A, there's not much upside to dream on for future years. The 25-year-old is looking like a career swingman or long reliever.
Gant allowed a single run on three hits and two walks without recording a strikeout through three innings during Sunday's loss to Pittsburgh. He didn't factor into the decision.
This was Gant's first start of the season, and he's expected to remain in the rotation for another turn against Milwaukee at Busch Stadium. He posted a 3.83 ERA and 8.6 K/9 through 18 outings as a starter for Triple-A Memphis, so he has modest streaming upside against the Brewers next week.
Gant will join the rotation, and likely take the mound for Sunday's game against the Pirates, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Derrick Goold reports.
Gant is going to replace Jack Flaherty, who struggled during his start Tuesday against the Reds, and is headed for a relief role out of the bullpen. During just five appearances with the Cardinals this season, Gant has accumulated a 3.86 ERA and 1.29 WHIP, with a 8:5 K:BB over 9.1 innings. He hasn't made a big-league start since last season with Atlanta, but spent most of the season as a starter with Triple-A Memphis, so he should have enough stamina to go more than a few innings for the club in Pittsburgh.
|10/1/2017 vs Milwaukee|
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|2012||AFX-Savannah Sand Gnats||0||1||10.38||1||1||0||0||0||4.1||10||5||5||1||0||0||5|
|2014||AFX-Savannah Sand Gnats||11||5||2.56||21||21||2||2||0||123.0||107||47||35||5||3||40||114|
|2015||AFA-St. Lucie Mets||2||0||1.79||6||6||0||0||0||40.1||27||9||8||4||1||10||48|