Culver, Rojas Go In
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Called Up to the Big Leagues"
SAN FRANCISCO, June 13- General Manager Bing Devine, getting up steam with the trade
deadline set for midnight Monday, acquired pinch-hitter Jim Beauchamp from the Houston
Astros today in exchange for pitcher George Culver and then sent Cardinal utilityman
Cookie Rojas to the Kansas City Royals.
The Redbirds then picked Jim Kennedy off their Tulsa roster, replacing Rojas as a spare
infielder. This left them one under the 25-man limit.
That space will be filled by a pitcher, and the Cardinals have two who might be ready
for promotion – Alan Hrabosky, a 21-year-old lefthander with the Arkansas farm club
in the Texas League, and Jerry Reuss, also a lefthander, from Tulsa of the American
Devine, at home in St. Louis, told the Post-Dispatch that the Cardinals might be in
need of two pitchers, depending on the seriousness of Nelson Briles’s latest leg
Reuss, who will be 21 Friday and was a winning pitcher late last season in his only
major league appearance, might be able to replace Briles in the starting rotation.
Hrabosky would give the Cardinals needed balance in the bullpen, where their only lefty
reliever is Billy McCool.
There is a chance, too, that Devine will make another deal in order to fill the roster.
In giving up Culver, the Cardinals obtained infielder Leon McFadden with Beauchamp from
Houston. McFadden is switching from the Astro’s Oklahoma City farm club to the
Cardinals’ Tulsa affiliate.
Fred Rico, an outfielder, was acquired from the A’s for Rojas. Rico, who has been
playing for Omaha in the American association, also has been assigned to Tulsa.
The promotion of Kennedy, who bats lefthanded, will give the Cardinals more
maneuverability in pinch hitting for the shortstop. Kennedy will join Dal Maxvill and Milt
Ramirez in the shortstop derby. Handyman Rojas wasn’t considered able to play
The Cardinal brass was impressed with Kennedy when the Redbirds played a recent
exhibition game with Tulsa.
"Kennedy’s a tough out," said Monahan.
Kennedy, who was drafted from the New York Yankees’ organization, was batting .253
for Tulsa. His batting average in four previous seasons in the minors ranged between .219
and .243. He is 24 years old, 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds.
Hrabosky, 5-11 and 185 pounds, won three of his first four decisions at Arkansas. He is
a product of the University of Southern California.
Beauchamp, an exceptional prospect when he was signed out of high school by the
Cardinals for a bonus estimated at $50,000 was batting .192 for the Astros. He had five
hits, including one home run, in 26 times at bat, and had driven in four runs.
Beauchamp can play first base or the outfield. His throwing arm is subpar because of a
serious shoulder injury which he suffered early in his professional career.
"Jim bats righthanded but he can do a good job of pinch hitting against any kind
of pitching – and he can hit the log ball, too," said Joe Monahan, the Cardinals
chief scout, who is taking in the Cardinals’ series with the Giants.
After Culver had earned a starting spot with a brilliant showing in spring training, he
won his first three starts in the regular season. When he dropped his next three
decisions, he was put in the bullpen. He got little work there, partly because of a sore
Culver’s effectiveness fell when he lost control of his sharp-breaking slider. The
righthander, who was obtained from the Cincinnati Reds for Ray Washburn, had a 4.58
earned-run average with the Cardinals.
Rojas’ appeared in 23 games for the Birds after he was obtained in the Curt
Flood-Rich Allen deal. He batted only .106 with the Cardinals, getting five hits,
including one double, in two runs.
The gentlemanly Rojas, who has slowed down somewhat at the age of 31, said of his
departure, "I regret that I couldn’t help much. No, I didn’t get to play
much, but they had the club set up before I got here. I hope this works out for the best
for both teams."
Rojas had one other regret. His wife and four sons had flown into St. Louis last night
from their home in New Jersey.
"We just rented our home for the rest of the summer," Rojas said.