Liberatore will join the Cardinals' big-league camp this spring.
Liberatore came over from the Rays in early January in a trade which sent Randy Arozarena and Jose Martinez the other way. The young lefty has a promising future but isn't close to the big leagues, as he's yet to even reach High-A.
Liberatore was traded to the Cardinals from the Rays on Thursday in exchange for unnamed major-league players, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports.
The 20-year-old dealt with a back injury that kept him sidelined for just under two weeks in 2019, but he managed to record a 3.10 ERA with a 76:31 K:BB over 78.1 innings with Low-A Bowling Green. While he's likely still several years from his major-league debut, he is a 6-foot-5 lefty with at least mid-rotation upside.
Liberatore (back) was activated from the 7-day injured list ahead of Wednesday's start against Low-A Lake County, Emily Waldon of The Athletic reports. He allowed one run on a hit and a walk while striking out two over three innings.
Liberatore was placed on the injured list Aug. 10 due to back spasms, though fortunately, he wasn't sidelined for long. He owns a 3.15 ERA and 1.31 WHIP with a 71:30 K:BB over 74.1 innings this season for Low-A Bowling Green.
Liberatore (back) tossed a bullpen session Monday and said he felt good afterwards, Emily Waldon of The Athletic reports.
The 19-year-old was placed on the 7-day injured list at Low-A Bowling Green on Aug. 9 after developing back spasms. His ability to resume throwing without any reported discomfort leaves the door open for Liberatore to return to game action before the minor-league season ends.
Liberatore was placed on the injured list at Low-A Bowling Green on Friday with minor back tightness, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
With this issue described as minor, there's hope that Liberatore will be able to return at some point during the final three weeks of Bowling Green's season. The 16th overall pick in 2018, Liberatore has put together a strong campaign in his first full-season stop, posting a 3.15 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and 69:29 K:BB in 71.1 innings so far. He's arguably a top-five prospect in a stacked Rays farm system.
Liberatore, the 16th overall pick in the 2018 first-year player draft, is 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and .187 BAA across 21 innings over his first four starts with Low-A Bowling Green.
The 19-year-old southpaw appears to be progressing nicely in his first full professional season. Liberatore gave a similarly impressive accounting of himself during the latter portion of the 2018 season after signing with the Rays in mid-June, logging a combined nine starts at two rookie-level stops and generating a 1.38 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and .189 BAA across 32.2 frames. His 2019 campaign got off to a late start after he was held back in extended spring, but Liberatore could still potentially hit a triple-digit innings load this season.
Liberatore is expected to be held back in extended spring training to start the year but still expects to throw around 115 innings in his first full season, Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com reports.
Teams often hold young pitchers back in extended spring training early in the season rather than sending them out to pitch in the Midwest before the weather heats up. Liberatore should join Low-A Bowling Green in May or June, which will give him plenty of time to hit his innings goal. Given his advanced arsenal and command, he could move quicker than the typical prep arm.