The Cardinals optioned Woodford to Triple-A Memphis on Thursday.
Woodford was a long-shot candidate for the final spot in the Cardinals' Opening Day rotation, so it comes as little surprise that he was sent packing in the early round of cuts. The right-hander will prepare for a repeat season at Memphis after posting a 4.15 ERA and 131:75 K:BB in 151.2 innings with the affiliate in 2091.
Woodford was added to the Cardinals' 40-man roster Wednesday.
Woodford was in the conversation for a spot in the Cardinals' big-league rotation last season, but the spot ultimately went to Daniel Ponce de Leon. In Woodford's first full season with Triple-A Memphis in 2019, he posted a 4.15 ERA with a 131:75 K:BB over 151.2 innings. His addition to the 40-man roster protects him from the Rule 5 draft, but it wouldn't be surprising to see the 23-year-old make his major-league debut sometime next season.
Woodford is a candidate to start Wednesday's game in Philadelphia, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports.
With Michael Wacha getting demoted to the bullpen, the Cardinals will need to summon a starter from Triple-A. Per Langosch, it will either be Woodford or Daniel Ponce de Leon. Ponce de Leon is on the 40-man roster, while Woodford is not, but Woodford could make that start on normal rest while Ponce de Leon would be making the start on six days rest. Neither pitcher projects to be a major fantasy asset. Woodford has a 5.33 FIP, 1.25 WHIP and 50:33 K:BB in 56.2 innings at Triple-A. Alex Reyes (finger) still hasn't been cleared to hit at Triple-A and Austin Gomber (biceps) isn't expected to come off the minor-league injured list until next weekend. Both Reyes and Gomber are better long-term rotation options, so one could displace whoever makes the start Wednesday in short order.
Woodford was reassigned to minor-league camp Sunday.
Woodford has yet to pitch above the High-A level, so there wasn't an expectation that he'd open the season with the big club. Over 23 games (119 innings) at High-A Palm Beach in 2017, Woodford threw for a 3.10 ERA and 1.40 WHIP.
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|Minor League Pitching Stats|
|2017||AFA-Palm Beach Cardinals||7||6||3.10||23||21||0||0||0||119.0||128||57||41||7||9||39||72|