Cards release reliever, Navy officer Harris

Cards release reliever, Navy officer Harris

MIAMI -- Navy lieutenant Mitch Harris, who made 26 appearances for the Cardinals in 2015, was released by the organization on Tuesday. The right-hander missed the 2016 season due to an elbow injury and is still trying to get back to full health. Harris participated in Major League Spring Training and made two appearances for Triple-A Memphis last month before being placed back on the disabled list.

Drafted by the Cardinals in 2008, Harris served five years in the United States Navy before resuming his professional baseball career. He became the second graduate of the US Naval Academy to reach the Majors, the first since 1921, and posted a 3.67 ERA with the Cardinals.

"I just have a lot of respect for his service and just to overcome the injuries and all the things he's been able to do," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "He's done them well. He's a great guy to have in the organization."

Matheny said that Harris sent him a text early this morning with the news.

"He said he was just grateful for the opportunity he had here," Matheny said. "He's just a first-class guy and a top-shelf story, too, one that's encouraging for a lot of kids out there who do want to serve their country but still chase their dream. It was great to be a part of that story."

Harris posted on social media: "It takes courage to face the mountain and strength to climb, but when you reach the summit and see the valley you realize who you've become"

He said on Instagram that Tuesday was his last with the Cardinals' organization and he thanked them for believing in him and giving him an opportunity. He indicated that he had not retired and looked forward to what lies ahead for him.

 

• On the injury front, left-hander Tyler Lyons will make a rehab start for Class A Peoria on Wednesday, the affiliate has announced. Lyons went on the 10-day disabled list on May 2 after suffering a right intercostal strain during his outing the day before. He will pitch in Wednesday's 11 a.m. CT home game vs. West Michigan.

Center fielder Dexter Fowler continues to nurse the right shoulder he jammed on Thursday. He threw prior to Monday's game and still didn't feel that the shoulder responded enough to get back into the starting lineup. Matheny said he could be available to pinch-hit for the final two games of the series at Marlins Park.

Still no sign of Jhonny Peralta (upper respiratory), who was placed on the disabled list April 17 and has missed 19 games. He did rehab work over the weekend in Jupiter, Fla. The Cardinals had been hopeful that Peralta could make the short two-hour drive to Miami to meet the club, but those chances continue to dwindle with each day. The Cards close out their three-game series with the Marlins on Wednesday.

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com based in Miami and covered the Cardinals on Tuesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.