PEORIA — Dylan Carlson and Rob Kaminsky both made their major-league debuts over the weekend as the St. Louis Cardinals returned to the field in their post-COVID shutdown.
Former Cardinals prospect Oscar Mercado, however, found himself on the way back to the minors.
All three journeyed through as members of the Peoria Chiefs along the way.
The much-awaited debut for Carlson, the Cardinals No. 1 pick (33rd overall) in 2016, came in Saturday's double-header with the Chicago White Sox.
Carlson's first major-league hit came in the second game when he doubled in the fifth inning against righty reliever Evan Marshall.
Remember, there are no fans allowed at these games, so his family could not see this debut in person. But they tweeted video of his family watching that big moment at home. Very cool.
Proud moment!!! pic.twitter.com/88rh3ook3g— Jeff Carlson (@ElkGroveBB) August 15, 2020
Carlson hit Peoria in 2017 and played 115 games here, notching 63 runs with seven homers, six steals, 52 walks and a .240 batting average.
He returned in 2018, but only for 13 games, adding two homers, 10 walks and batting .234 before heading up the St. Louis system.
Carlson has played five games since joining the St. Louis roster from the team's alternate training site, and was hitting .118 with a walk after Monday action.
He's played all over the outfield — all three positions.
Former Chiefs have a huge presence on this 2020 Cardinals team. When Carlson made his major-league debut on Saturday against the White Sox, he had former Peoria Chiefs Tommy Edman, Andrew Knizner, Harrison Bader and Kolton Wong in the lineup with him.
Kaminsky, meanwhile, was brought up Saturday by the Cardinals. The lefty was St. Louis' first-round pick (28th overall) in 2013.
He was a star at Peoria in 2014 as the dominating starter went 8-2 with a 1.88 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP in nearly 101 innings.
He was traded to the Indians for Brandon Moss in 2015, and spent his time there fighting injuries and a role shift to reliever. He came back to the Cardinals as a free agent on a minor-league deal last December.
Kaminsky made his MLB debut with a scoreless inning in relief in Sunday's loss to the White Sox.
Mercado, meanwhile, was sent back to the Cleveland Indians alternate training site on Monday.
He played shortstop in Peoria during the 2015 season and hit .254 with 70 runs and 50 stolen bases in 117 games.
The Cardinals converted him to center field, and he was acquired by Cleveland in a trade with St. Louis in 2018, and burst into the lineup last season to win Cleveland's center field job.
He hit .269 with 25 doubles, three triples, 15 homers and 54 RBI, scored 70 runs and stole 15 bases in 19 attempts with the Tribe in 2019. It looked like he was emerging as a young star.
The Indians went into spring training in 2020 with Mercado a guaranteed starter in center field.
Mercado started 12 of the first 15 games when the 60-game season finally began, and he just wasn't the same. He was hitting .111 with three RBI in 17 games, 14 strikeouts and three walks when Cleveland dispatched him Monday.
That's all for Cleve In The Eve on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020.
Here's your sports quote of the day:
"(They'd have to) be willing to pry him through my dead hands."
— Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak, before the 2019 trade deadline, on the chances teams could acquire Dylan Carlson in a trade.
Dave Eminian is the Journal Star sports columnist, and covers the Rivermen and Chiefs. He writes the Cleve In The Eve sports column for pjstar.com. Reach him at 686-3206 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @icetimecleve.