On Tuesday afternoon, the St. Louis Cardinals placed left-handed relief pitcher Tyler Lyons on the 10-day Disabled List. In the corresponding move, the organization recalled Sam Tuivailala from Triple-A Memphis.
A bright part of the St. Louis Cardinals‘ mediocre start to the 2017 season has been the team’s overall health. Only Jhonny Peralta was on St. Louis’ disabled list heading into the second month of the season. Left-handed reliever Tyler Lyons now joins him.
Lyons began the year on the disabled list, finishing a long recovery from knee surgery that cut his 2016 season short. In two appearances since being activated, he pitched three innings, allowing one run, one hit, two walks, one hit batter, and struck out two.
The Cardinals placed the lefty on MLB’s new-this-season 10-day disabled list with a right intercostal strain. The intercostals are the muscles in between the ribs.
Sam Tuivailala rejoins the team in Lyons’ absence. This will actually be his third stint already this season in St. Louis. He began the year on the Opening Day roster, but was optioned to Memphis once Trevor Rosenthal was ready to go. The team also added Tuivailala as the 26th man to the big league roster last Thursday for the doubleheader against the Toronto Blue Jays.
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He did not pitch that night, and was sent back to Memphis the next day, per league rules. In three appearances in St. Louis this season, Tuivailala pitched three innings, allowing one run, three hits, one walk, and struck out two.
Tuivailala also pitched in St. Louis during parts of the 2014, 2015, and 2016 seasons.
In a bullpen that has been nothing short of disappointing to begin the year, the right-hander rejoins the carousel of relievers manager Mike Matheny has to choose from. In Memphis, Tuivailala had thrown 8 1/3 scoreless innings to begin the year.
The 24-year old features a high-90s fastball to go along with a breaking ball and off-speed pitch. His command often dictates his success on the mound.
He has closing experience in the minors, and although St. Louis’ late-inning relievers have struggled to begin the year, he’s unlikely to appear in many high-leverage situations, especially since Lyons will presumably replace Tuivailala once he’s ready to return.